Responses to major challenges facing nuclear safety, security and the development of peaceful nuclear technologies are highlighted in the latest IAEA Annual Report. The report - published this week and now available online - reviews the Agency's initial response to the events of the 11 September attacks in the United States that riveted international attention on prevention of terrorism, including nuclear-related threats. At the IAEA, the events led to steps designed to significantly improve programs related to the safety and security of nuclear and radioactive materials.
Highlights from the Annual Report include
- The IAEA carried out safeguards inspections at more than 900 nuclear and related facilities in 70 countries. Altogether the Agency had 225 agreements in place with 141 countries (and with Taiwan, China) to safeguard nuclear materials and facilities. A range of activities were directed at further strengthening the safeguards system to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons;
- The Joint Convention on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management and on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management entered into force. New IAEA assistance projects also involved more States in efforts to upgrade their infrastructures for radiation safety and security; and
- Technical assistance supporting national priorities for sustainable development included projects focusing on the prevention of malnutrition in Asia, eradication of the tsetse fly in Africa, and provision of clean drinking water in Madagascar. The Agency's technical cooperation programme recorded a banner year in 2001 and technical assistance in isotope hydrology programmes continued to attract high interest, with support nearly tripling over the past five years.
For full details see theIAEA Annual Report for 2001. The report is among documents that are submitted to the IAEA General Conference, which meets in Vienna beginning 16 September.
Other General Conference documents presenting global overviews of the IAEA's work include the Nuclear Technology Review, Nuclear Safety Review, and the Technical Cooperation Report. These will be added to the IAEA's WorldAtom site as they are issued in the coming weeks.