Concerns over energy, food security, the global cancer crisis and climate change continue to shape the world´s nuclear agenda. In its latest Annual Report, the IAEA notes that interest in starting nuclear power programmes continued to grow among Member States.
"This was reflected in a larger number of requests for Agency assistance in analysing energy options and in preparing for the introduction of nuclear power. Specifically, more than 50 Member States expressed interest in considering the introduction of nuclear power," the report says.
The IAEA also reports increased demand for assistance in assessing national and regional energy systems and energy strategies. The Agency´s analytical tools are now being used in 115 Member States and six international organizations.
In 2008, the IAEA strengthened its partnerships, responding to the world´s food, environmental and cancer crises by enhancing State and regional capacities to use relevant technologies for sustainable solutions.
The IAEA also continued to press for a comprehensive and effective nuclear safety regime and it has been laying the groundwork for a strengthened verification system.
Each year, IAEA Annual Reports and Reviews highlight nuclear safety, security, safeguards and development issues on the Agency´s agenda. The reports are issued in advance of the IAEA General Conference of Member States, which in 2009 will be held in Vienna from 14-18 September.
The reports include the Annual Report for 2008, Nuclear Technology Review 2009, and Nuclear Safety Review 2008. Also issued recently was a summary of the latest Safeguards Implementation Report and the Annual Report of the IAEA Coordinated Research Activities. The 2008 Technical Cooperation Annual Report is also among other documents being submitted to the General Conference.