Nuclear power as an engine for development was the subject of a keynote address given by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to the 6th Congress on Science and Technology for Development on 16 July in Bangkok, Thailand. About 1 000 local and international scientists and members of the diplomatic community took part in the congress, which was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Thailand´s Prime Minister, General Surayud Chulanon, officially opened the congress.
In his keynote, Dr. ElBaradei explained the reasons for the renewed interest in nuclear power, including energy diversity and energy security, carbon emissions and environmental concerns, and the strong performance record of nuclear power. He discussed actions that the IAEA and others were taking to address the risks associated with safety, security, waste and non-proliferation. The speech covered issues related to ensuring the necessary infrastructure - from industrial infrastructure, such as manufacturing facilities, to the legal and regulatory framework, the institutional measures to ensure safety and security, and the necessary human and finance resources.
During his trip in Thailand, Dr. ElBaradei had an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and held meetings with the Prime Minister, General Surayud Chulanont, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nitya Pibulsonggram, and the Minister of Science and Technology, Yongyuth Yuthavong.
In addition to the ongoing issue of the DPRK, the talks focused on nuclear power as part of the country´s energy mix.
Nobel Lecture in Malaysia
IAEA Director General, Dr. ElBaradei, gave a Nobel Laureate Public Lecture hosted by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia on 18 July 2007 on the subject of Nuclear Power: Looking to the Future. The Lecture was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with the participation of local and international scientists, postgraduate students and members of the diplomatic community.
In his lecture, Dr. ElBaradei spoke about the demand for energy in developing countries, a number of which were giving renewed consideration to nuclear power. He covered a number of emerging issues related to nuclear power, including environmental concerns, waste, non-proliferation, infrastructure needs and public perception.
During his trip to Kuala Lumpur, Dr. ElBaradei also held meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister, Dato´ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dato´ Seri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar, and the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dato´ Kong Cho Hahad. The talks focused on issues related to the DPRK and Iran, Malaysia´s energy mix and the project to build a nuclear monitoring laboratory, which is scheduled to be operational in three years´ time.
Dr. ElBaradei also held a press conference and had a one-on-one interview with Radio Television Malaysia.