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Looking Ahead: Important 2023 Events at the IAEA


What's ahead for the IAEA and the global nuclear agenda in 2023? Here is a preview of some meetings and events:


From 13 to 16 February, the IAEA will hold its sixth International Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems: Preparing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Environment in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the conference is to share regulatory experiences on improving the effectiveness of nuclear and radiation regulatory systems, taking into account the outcomes of the past conferences in this series. It will address resilience, and agility to respond to new and emerging challenges in a rapidly changing environment, as well as regulatory approaches to innovation, emerging and new technologies, regulatory harmonisation and international and regional cooperation.


The IAEA Board of Governors first meeting of the year will commence on 6 March in Vienna, Austria.

The Joint 8th and 9th Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety will be held in Vienna from 20 to 31 March 2023. The Convention on Nuclear Safety is the cornerstone of the international nuclear safety framework. It is the first legally binding international treaty to address the safety of nuclear installations and seeks to ensure that such installations are operated in a safe, well-regulated and environmentally sound manner.


An International Symposium on Trends in Radiopharmaceuticals (ISTR-2023) will provide a forum for scientists and other professionals working in the field of radioisotope and radiopharmaceutical production. The conference will focus on how advances in nuclear medicine have opened possibilities to generate unprecedented solutions to clinical problems by providing better diagnosis and more efficient therapies. Topics will cover the development, production, application of diagnostic, therapeutic and theranostic radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, as well as regulatory, licensing and educational issues. The Symposium will take place on 17 to 21 April in Vienna.

In April, seeds launched into space in late 2022 to be exposed inside and outside of the International Space Station to radiation in what is known as space mutagenesis, are expected to arrive back to Earth to be grown and screened for useful traits that can adapt to changing terrestrial conditions associated with climate change.


An International Symposium on Uranium Raw Material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (URAM-2023), organised every four years, will take place from 8 to 12 May at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna. This event will provide an opportunity to discuss the latest developments and innovations in uranium geology, exploration, mining, processing and site decommissioning to ensure a sustainable supply of uranium for use as nuclear fuel and the long term sustainability of nuclear power programmes.

From 15 to 19 May the International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning: Addressing the Past and Ensuring the Future will take place in Vienna. Decommissioning is the final stage in the lifecycle of any nuclear and radiological facility, and it needs to be implemented safely, in a cost effective and environmentally sensitive manner and taking into account the future uses of the site. The conference will cover achievements and challenges in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, as well as safety, security and cost-effective implementation of programmes to raise awareness of the importance of addressing decommissioning as part of a sustainable future.


The summer meeting of the Board of Governors will convene on 5 June.

On 19 to 23 June the International Conference on Computer Security in the Nuclear World: Security for Safety will take place in Vienna, focusing on the important role of computer based systems in the safety and security of nuclear and radioactive material and facilities. Discussion topics will include state-level strategies and regulatory approaches for computer security in a nuclear security regime; computer security programme implementation and considerations related to supply chain management; the contribution of human resources to computer security, and the practical implementation of computer security assurance activities. Demonstrations – including a cyber village – will enable participants to focus on their own role in computer security. A vendors’ exhibition will also be available. The Conference will provide a global forum for competent authorities, operators, system and security integrators and vendors, and other relevant entities engaged in computer security activities related to nuclear security or safety, to exchange information and foster international cooperation in computer security as an integral element. 


The 16th International Symposium on Isotope Hydrology, taking place from 3 to 7 July in Vienna, will celebrate 60 years of providing a unique opportunity to review the state of the science, practical applications, and research trends and needs in isotope hydrology. Isotope hydrology contributes to a better understanding of the water cycle and has applications in water resources assessment and management, the study of past and future changes in the Earth’s climate and of climate impacts on the water cycle, and in forensic areas such as ecological, wildlife and food source traceability. At the event, participants will review the basic principles of isotope hydrology as well as recent developments in analytical instrumentation and applications of isotopes in water and climate studies. They will also identify research, analytical and training requirements for a wider use of isotope hydrology, and focus areas where isotope hydrology can assist with acceleration of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6): clean water and sanitation.


The first autumn IAEA Board of Governors meeting will start on 11 September.

The 67th IAEA General Conference will take place from 25 to 29 September 2023 in Vienna. Its programme will again include a Scientific Forum on 26 to 27 September.


The 2nd International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power will take place in Vienna from 9 to 13 October. This event will provide a forum for IAEA member countries, representatives of relevant low carbon energy sectors, international organizations and other stakeholders to exchange information on the role of nuclear power in the energy transition towards net zero emissions.

With developments in fusion research gaining momentum and a number of next-step fusion devices currently being implemented, the 29th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2023), taking place from 16 to 21 October in London, United Kingdom, will provide a forum for IAEA member countries and partner organizations to discuss key physics and technology issues and innovative concepts for using nuclear fusion as a future energy source. The IAEA has supported fusion energy research since the Agency’s inception and organizes the biennial Fusion Energy Conference.


From 6 to 10 November, the International Conference on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, Decommissioning, and Environmental Protection and Remediation: Ensuring Safety and Enabling Sustainability will take place in Vienna. The purpose of the event is to provide a forum for exchanging information, experiences, and anticipated future developments for keeping the highest levels of standards on safety and managing the interrelationships between safety and sustainable development, in the context of the safe management of radioactive waste (including spent nuclear fuel), environmental protection (including control of radioactive releases), the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities, and the remediation of contaminated areas.

The IAEA Board of Governors will convene on 23 November.

The International Conference on Research Reactors: Achievements, Experience and the Way to a Sustainable Future, taking place from 27 November to 1 December in Jordan, aims to foster the exchange of information on operating and planned research reactors. Geared towards reactor operators, managers, users, regulators, designers and suppliers, participants can share experience in all relevant areas including safety, security, operation, fuel front and back-end options, utilization, infrastructure and capacity building, and management; and showcase how achievements and experience attained with research reactors in these areas contribute to a sustainable future.


The United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, will take place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December. The IAEA will be participating for the third time, highlighting how nuclear technology and applications contribute to tackling climate change. Last year, the IAEA hosted the first-ever nuclear related pavilion at a COP, demonstrating the role of nuclear as part of the solution to the challenges of climate change.

Last update: 09 Jan 2023

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