The availability of sustainable energy in developing countries is key to efforts to reduce poverty and improve living standards. Through its technical cooperation activities, the IAEA is helping Member States to plan for and achieve the development of a sustainable nuclear power sector that can help meet countries´ rising demand for energy.
Addressing almost 50 experts from over 40 countries attending a workshop on IAEA tools for nuclear energy system assessment for long-term planning and development, IAEA´s Ana María Cetto, Deputy Director General for Technical Cooperation, spoke of the Agency´s initiatives.
"In the past year 4% of technical cooperation (TC) disbursements were made in the area of nuclear power and another 4% in the safety of nuclear installations," said Cetto.
The IAEA´s effort is being expanded due to the renewed interest in nuclear power from a growing number of Member States.
"In the current TC programme, which extends to 2011, over 5% of the core programme is devoted to the nuclear fuel cycle, a similar amount to nuclear energy, and over 13% to safety," she said.
The IAEA´s involvement in the development of a sustainable energy sector including nuclear power is extensive and touches on several areas. In sub-saharan Africa, work is on-going to improve national and regional capacities for long-term strategic planning of the energy system. In Europe, the focus is on strengthening national and regional infrastructures for the planning and development of nuclear power programmes.
In Asia, the IAEA helps Member States to strengthen their sustainable development in the post-Kyoto period by assessing the role of nuclear and other energy options and evaluating the resources for energy-related activities and environmental concerns.
In Latin America, the Agency is involved in the effort to strengthen the national nuclear sector through strategic planning and results-based management tools. It is also working to support eight Member States in planning the introduction of a nuclear power programme.
The IAEA is also working to ensure that any Member State planning the introduction of nuclear energy embarks on the process with a complete understanding of the range of issues that they must address before they can implement such a project.
The Workshop on IAEA Tools for Nuclear Energy System Assessment (NESA) for Long-Term Planning and Development was held in Vienna, Austria, from 20-23 July 2009.