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Member States Contributed €8.7 million to IAEA Laboratory Modernization in 2017

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Construction of the building that will house the new linear accelerator at the IAEA's campus in Seibersdorf Austria. (Photo: B. Benzinger)

Thanks to the generous voluntary contributions of 14 Member States in 2017, the renovations of the IAEA’s nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria advanced significantly last year.

The upgrades will improve the IAEA’s capacity to support Member States in the use of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture, human health and the environment, as well as the use of new nuclear scientific instruments. The modernization projects, known as Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) and ReNuAL Plus (ReNuAL+), are initiatives to enhance the laboratories’ equipment and infrastructure and construct new buildings.

The laboratories opened in 1962, and had not undergone any renovations nor received major equipment upgrades until the ReNuAL project began in 2014.

Cash contributions to ReNuAL, which ran from 2014 to 2017, and the follow-up project ReNuAL+, which began last year, have amounted to more than €32 million from Member States, including €8.7 million during 2017. In addition the IAEA has also received equipment under various partnerships. Each contribution has been vitally important in moving the construction ahead. Alongside traditional donors such as the United States, Japan and Western European governments, an increasing number of middle-income countries have contributed to ReNuAL and ReNuAL+.

Construction in the interior of the new Insesct Pest Control Laboratory building continues in Seibersdorf, Austria, as part of the IAEA's laboratory modernization project. (Photo: B. Benzinger/IAEA)

“In recognition of the important role that the IAEA’s Nuclear Applications laboratories in Seibersdorf play in enhancing the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme, and in view of their valuable contribution to Jordan in the areas of food security and safety, medical dosimetry, water management and environmental protection, the Government of Jordan decided to provide a financial contribution to the modernization project of the laboratories, as it will maximize benefits and expand support needed to Member States,” said Ambassador Hussam Al Husseini, the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations and International Organizations in Vienna. The laboratories are a landmark of the IAEA’s achievements, and theirs is a remarkable contribution to mankind.” Jordan provided 12 660 euros to the modernization project this year, the first time it made a contribution to ReNuAl.

“Indonesia has supported the IAEA ReNuAL/ReNuAL+ projects from the very beginning, recognizing the strategic importance of modernizing the Seibersdorf laboratories to enhance the Agency’s services to Member States, to address various emerging global challenges, and to deliver concrete socio-economic benefits for society,” said Ambassador Darmansjah Djumala, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations and International Organizations in Vienna. Indonesia has contributed 30 500 euros to ReNuAL and ReNuAL+ so far. Indonesia has benefitted from the work of the laboratories in many areas, including environmental protection and plant breeding.

“We are greatly encouraged by the commitment of Member States to helping us improve our laboratories,” said Andy Garner, Laboratory Coordinator. “The contributions from a wide range of Member States are testimony to the importance of the work being done in Seibersdorf and its global impact.”   

A donor wall recognizing those who have contributed to the laboratory renovations was unveiled in September and is on display at the lnsect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf.

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