Distinguished Delegates, dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I join my colleague and fellow DDG, Yury Sokolov, in welcoming you all to the IAEA Conference on Nuclear Research Applications and Utilization of Accelerators.
The application of accelerators in science and technology has been a part of the IAEA´s programme of work from the start. In fact, you will find papers on applications of accelerators as early as in the proceedings of the 1958 UN Conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy. After more than 50 years in both accelerating - if you´ll excuse the pun - and enlarging the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity, the IAEA remains committed to this topic, as is evident from the present international event.
The IAEA emphasizes the use of nuclear methods based on accelerators in a broad variety of applications. The agenda of our meeting reflects this diversity, which ranges from the interest of the nuclear energy community as pointed out by Mr. Sokolov, to a strong emphasis on promoting the use of accelerators in industry and scientific research in other areas of nuclear sciences and applications.
The use of particle beams from the accelerators can be seen as the cradle of nuclear science education. In addition it is a vital tool in nuclear research, and in deriving practical applications in development and understanding of materials.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Accelerator centres form the basis of nuclear knowledge and are the starting point of nuclear development worldwide. This fact is witnessed through your presence here: you come from 54 Member States and five international organizations to participate at this Conference, with more than half of you being recipients of IAEA Technical Cooperation. Our programme this week - which includes six satellite meetings - was designed to consider the diverse experience and practice of participants. It is organized with a view to maximizing your interaction as experts working on education, science and technology and industrial applications.
The variety of applications of accelerators is so vast that the organizers of this topical meeting had to restrict the coverage of topics. On this note, I would like to mention that the topic of medical applications of accelerators was covered last week in the IAEA Conference on Advances in Radiation Oncology (ICARO). As you know, about half of the accelerators in the world are used in medical applications in radiotherapy, hadron therapy and medical isotope production. Most of the other accelerators are used in industry as ion implanters and for surface modification.
Working on accelerators means having scientific visions on the application of nuclear technologies. The highlights of this conference include presentations regarding the UNESCO-IAEA supported facility SESAME being set up in Jordan. This project is an important step in enabling nuclear technology capacity in the Middle East. In particular, the IAEA has been supporting the human resources development components of this project. We would be happy if an accelerator conference like this one would eventually be held in the Middle East, reflecting all the scientific development in the region.
I would like to thank the American Nuclear Society for working so closely together with the IAEA in this event. Last year the former President of the ANS visited me during the occasion of the General Conference. He was impressed by the variety of work which the IAEA does in supporting nuclear technologies in its 149 Member States. I hope that the representatives of the ANS here will take the message of this Conference with them to encourage further cooperation.
I would like to thank all experts and representatives of the Member States attending this Conference and I would like to assure you that the time spent here in the premises of the Vienna International Centre will help you in further applying accelerator-based nuclear technologies and setting new trends in development. I wish you fruitful deliberations and look forward to the summary and recommendations from the Conference.
Thank you all.