International Atomic Energy Organization

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Atomic Energy Agency International Atomic Energy Agency

Organization type autonomous organization
Abbreviation IAEA, IAEA, AIEA
management Rafael Grossi
Founded July 29, 1957
Headquarters Vienna , AustriaAustriaAustria

The International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA , International Atomic Energy Agency , IAEA ) is an autonomous scientific and technical organization that the within the system United Nations holds a special status. The IAEA is not a specialized agency of the United Nations , but rather is linked to it by a separate agreement. It reports regularly to the General Assembly of the United Nations and also to the Security Council of the United Nations if it determines that international security is at risk. According to its statutes, the IAEA should " accelerate and enlarge the contribution of nuclear energy to peace, health and prosperity worldwide"; It is therefore intended to promote the use of radioactive materials and international cooperation in this regard and prevent the military use of this technology (e.g. proliferation of nuclear weapons ) through monitoring measures (“ safeguards ”). For her commitment to these goals she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 together with her then General Director Mohammed el-Baradei .

For 2016, the organization had revenues of $ 632 million and expenses of $ 550 million.


Member States of the IAEA (as of February 2014):
  • Member States
  • Countries eligible for membership: Togo , Cape Verde , Papua New Guinea
  • Membership terminated in 1994: North Korea
  • Non-member
  • No membership possible: Taiwan , Western Sahara
  • US President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the idea for the foundation in a speech in 1953:

    “I therefore make the following proposals. The governments principally involved, to the extent permitted by elementary prudence, should begin now and continue to make joint contributions from their stockpiles of normal uranium and fissionable materials to an international atomic energy agency. We would expect that such an agency would be set up under the aegis of the United Nations. "

    The agreement on the seat in Vienna comes into force. Handshake between William Sterling Cole and Leopold Figl (February 26, 1958)

    After the first Geneva nuclear conference held in September 1955 as part of the Atoms for Peace program , the IAEA was founded on July 29, 1957 under the umbrella of the United Nations in New York and has had its administrative headquarters in Vienna since 1957, and in the Vienna International Center since August 1979 , part of the locally so-called UNO-City . Regional offices are located in Geneva ( Switzerland ), New York ( United States ), Toronto ( Canada ) and Tokyo ( Japan ) settled.

    The nuclear research laboratory is located in the Seibersdorf Research Center, about 30 km from Vienna, on the premises of the Austrian Institute of Technology . The IAEA also operates and promotes nuclear research centers in Monaco and Trieste ( Italy ).

    The IAEA is composed of the General Conference, the Board of Governors and the Secretariat. Until his sudden death in July 2019, the general manager was the Japanese Yukiya Amano , whose official duties were temporarily taken over by the Romanian Cornel Feruta since July 25, 2019 . On December 3, 2019, the Argentine Rafael Grossi took over the position of General Director. In 2004 the organization had around 2,200 employees (including around 350 inspectors) from over 90 countries.

    The six main departments, each under a deputy director, are assigned to the departments Technical Cooperation, Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Safety, Administration, Nuclear Sciences and Applications and Nuclear Material Monitoring (“Safeguards”).

    The programs and funds are determined by the 35-member Board of Governors and the General Assembly of all member states. The budget includes a regular budget as well as additional voluntary contributions. The regular budget for 2009 amounted to around 293.7 million US dollars . The aim is to add around $ 85 million in additional contributions. The IAEA issues are audited annually by an external auditor , who is elected by the General Conference.

    Reports on the activities of the IAEA are submitted regularly and additionally as necessary to the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations .

    Directors General of the IAEA


    • Background: In 1948 the UN General Assembly passed a (non-binding) resolution providing for the establishment of an international body which - for reasons of the only peaceful use - owned and operated all nuclear reactors and uranium mines worldwide. In return, the construction of atomic bombs should be stopped and the existing stocks destroyed. In his Atoms for Peace speech from 1953, US President Eisenhower suggested the establishment of a somewhat less extensive form of this "International Atomic Energy Agency", which should also advocate the exclusively peaceful use of atomic energy.
    • The organization was founded on July 29, 1957. The US politician William Sterling Cole became the first General Director .
    • In 1961 the Swede Sigvard Eklund is elected general manager. In 1962 he speculated that by 1980 half of the annual increase in electricity generation would be produced by nuclear power plants.
    • On March 30, 1962, the United States placed four nuclear power plants under the control of the IAEA.
    • At the general conference from September 18-26, 1962, Saudi Arabia is admitted to the IAEA and the 1963 budget is announced at 7.4 million US dollars .
    • In 1962 the security system of the IAEA is placed under an Australian-Japanese agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
    • From March 1970, the IAEA also took over the supervision of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty .
    • 1981: Hans Blix , Sweden's Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1978/79, becomes the new Director General. He remains in office until 1997.
    • Since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster , the IAEA has been more concerned with the safety of nuclear power plants than before .

    In 2003 the IAEA caused a sensation with its mission in Iraq before the start of the Iraq war (March 20 to May 1, 2003).

    • In December 2004 it became known that Mohammed el-Baradei , Director General of the IAEA from 1997 to November 2009, had been systematically wiretapped by the USA. El-Baradei is outraged. So far he knew that the US government was working against him, but did not know that it would risk a scandal and wiretap him. El-Baradei suggested that the US government wanted to eavesdrop on incriminating material in order to blackmail him or force him out of office.
    • In 2005 el-Baradei and the IAEA received the Nobel Peace Prize .

    The IAEA promptly documented the Fukushima nuclear disaster from March 2011 and published it on the Internet. The IAEA has set up the RANET (Response and Assistance Network); any state party may seek help from the IAEA and other member states in the event of a nuclear or radiological event or emergency.
    It is also active in North Korea (→ North Korean nuclear weapons program ) and in Iran (→ Iranian nuclear program).

    Work areas

    Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

    Among other things, the IAEA has been responsible for monitoring the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since March 1970 . In addition to dispatching inspectors to carry out around 2,500 on-site inspections worldwide, the IAEA now also uses satellite surveillance and similar means to monitor compliance with the blocking treaty. It became of international interest in 1991 after the end of the second Gulf War , when it was allowed to conduct investigations in Iraq for the first time outside of the contractual commitment of a signatory state and in the process revealed a secret nuclear weapons program.

    Improving nuclear safety

    In order to promote reactor safety , the IAEA supports, among other things, the implementation of the Convention on Nuclear Safety . For this purpose, it also supports the operators of nuclear facilities in the classification of incidents and accidents according to the International Assessment Scale for Nuclear Events (INES) :

    IRS (International Reporting System for Operating Experience)

    The IAEA provides an international, non-public database for faults in nuclear facilities such as nuclear power plants , the IRS "International Reporting System for Operating Experience" also called "IAEA / NEA Incident Reporting System". It is operated and managed by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) , which also operates other nuclear databases. The IRS is the only international database in which reports on faults, experiences and lessons learned “ Lessons Learned ” are collected and exchanged. The IRS coordinators hold annual meetings. Some of the data from the IRS are available in the reports of the Swedish radiation protection agency Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten (before 2008 SKI ).

    Other areas of work

    IAEA shield in the Seibersdorf Research Center

    In addition, the organization is involved in the application and development of peaceful possibilities of nuclear technology, e.g. B. in medicine, agriculture, production processes and of course power generation . The IAEA research center on the premises of the Austrian Institute of Technology in Seibersdorf (Lower Austria) houses several departments that deal with the various possible uses of nuclear energy; in the agricultural-biotechnology area, there are separate departments for Plant Breeding (Plant Breeding), Soil (Soil Science), agrochemicals , Entomology (entomology, and within the framework of a.. is researched said bottom SIT program), as well as veterinary applications. Other departments deal with nuclear physics , dosimetry , chemistry, instrumental technology, etc. The safeguards laboratories are also located in Seibersdorf. The laboratories employ around 180 people (around 2,229 IAEA in total).

    Together with the FAO , the IAEA runs, among other things, a research program that deals with Sterile Insect Technology (SIT). Male insects are radioactively irradiated and sterilized in this way. They are then released into the wild and can pass on their sterile semen to females. The female insects then avoid contact with males or they lay eggs from which no larvae or only inferior larvae develop. In the long term, diseases such as malaria or sleeping sickness should be eradicated.

    The IAEA operates cancer healing centers in various countries, e.g. B. in Nigeria (350,000 new cases per year, papilloma virus).

    Honourings and prices

    The organization has received a number of international peace awards for its work.

    • 2003: Peace Pole, Peace Prize of the Goi Peace Foundation, Japan
    • 2003: Science & Peace Gold Medal from Albert Schweitzer International University, Spain
    • 2004: Berlin Peace Watch Prize from the Berlin Committee for UNESCO Work
    • 2005: Nobel Peace Prize

    The award of the Nobel Peace Prize was criticized by the anti-nuclear movement , among others , because the IAEA is against the military use of nuclear energy, but supports civilian use.


    The IAEA and Chernobyl

    The IAEA also mentioned this type of RBMK reactor before the Chernobyl nuclear disaster . In a publication available on her website (IAEO Bulletin, Vol. 22, No. 2), she speaks of the “economically fully justified construction” of this type of reactor and that with very little effort (by increasing the power density in the core) an increase in output of 1000 MW el. To 1500 MW el. Can be achieved.

    On July 1, 2009, the IPPNW , an international nuclear-critical medical organization, criticized the 50-year-old agreement between the IAEA and the World Health Organization . In this agreement, the IAEA assumes primary responsibility for all nuclear research projects. In doing so, they hinder the WHO in reporting on health risks from radiation. The health consequences of Chernobyl, the subject of two major UN conferences, in Geneva in 1995 and in Kiev in 2001 , were not made available to the public.

    The IAEA and Fukushima

    After the reactor catastrophe in Japan in 2011, the IPPNW called on March 22, 2011 for the agreement between WHO and IAEA to be terminated. The WHO should inform the population, especially the Japanese, plainly and objectively about the health risks and campaign for the evacuation of women, children and pregnant women from the affected areas.

    The IAEA's radiation measurements carried out in Fukushima met with criticism due to their opaque presentation .

    During the IAEA conference in Vienna in June 2011, no fundamental criticism of the use of nuclear energy was expressed. On the contrary, the delegates spoke in favor of continuing the status quo or building new nuclear power plants. The nuclear phase-out in Germany met with a lack of understanding, combined with the fear that this could lead to a stop of nuclear energy in other countries. Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA, propagated an increase in global nuclear power production during a visit to Japan in June 2011.

    General criticism

    The German political scientist Lutz Mez pointed out in March 2011 that the IAEA was formed at a time when nuclear power was viewed as "the solution to all human issues". Even after Chernobyl in 1986, she hardly changed her attitude; the main goal of the organization to increase the contribution of nuclear energy to peace, health and prosperity remained unchanged. The 1997 nuclear waste agreement under the auspices of the IAEA does not provide for any sanctions. To date, over one hundred IAEA member states have not had any domestic security structures to control such standards. As recently as 2004, the IAEA had expected that the share of nuclear energy in global electricity supply would rise to over 50% by 2050.

    The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the IAEA in 2005 was criticized by the international nuclear-critical medical organization IPPNW as well as by Greenpeace and the BUND with the argument that the goals of the IAEA, the expansion and dissemination of nuclear energy, are not compatible with the Nobel Peace Prize.

    See also

    Web links

    Commons : International Atomic Energy Agency  - collection of images, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. The United Nations System . German Society for the United Nations, 2008 ( PDF ( Memento from December 9, 2008 in the Internet Archive ))
    2. ^ The Statute of the IAEA. IAEA, accessed May 7, 2013 .
    3. ^ Expenditure by Agency. United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, accessed November 22, 2018 .
    4. ^ About IAEA: Member States
    5. From the speech " Atoms for Peace ", in the text The Agency loses its initiator ( Memento from August 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) on the occasion of the death of President Eisenhower (PDF, English; 165 kB)
    6. ^ Neue Zürcher Zeitung of November 15, 1948
    7. December 13, 2004: Baradei outraged by US eavesdropping
    8. Convention on Nuclear Safety , accessed January 17, 2011
    9. IRS (International Reporting System for Operating Experience)
    10. Nuclear power plant operating experiences from the IAEO / NEA Incident Reporting System 2002–2005 PDF
    11. Nuclear Safety and Regulation (CNSI) 2003: PDF
    12. Nigeria in cancer PACT with IAEA on the IAEA website of March 7, 2011, accessed on January 29, 2012
    13. praise and blame for the atomic energy authority
    15. Text of Resolution WHA 12-40
    16. IPPNW Forum 117/118
    17. IPPNW press release of March 22, 2011
    18. ^ Ed Lyman: IAEA Data Appear to Show Increased Ground Contamination. Why Doesn't the IAEA Just Say So? ( Memento of April 29, 2011 on WebCite ) (English). In: All Things Nuclear . Union of Concerned Scientists.
    19. DER SPIEGEL 26/2011: Nuclear power - Bacillus teutonicus of June 27, 2011
    20. Amano: Atomic energy has a future from July 26, 2011
    21. Atomare Missionare , Interview by Benedikt Erenz with political scientist Lutz Mez
    22. Praise and blame for the Atomic Energy Agency ( memento from September 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) from October 7, 2005


    1. Until moving into the VIC in 1979, the Grand Hotel Wien ( Kärntner Ring 9, Vienna-Innere Stadt ) was used as the official residence.
      In the summer of 1959,
      Cobenzl Castle , located on the edge of the Vienna Woods in Döbling (and later demolished by the City of Vienna in 1966 ), was discussed as an address. - See: News from the day. Nuclear control in Cobenzl Castle? In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna August 15, 1959, p. 4 , top left ( - the open online archive - digitized).

    Coordinates: 48 ° 14 ′ 5 ″  N , 16 ° 25 ′ 1 ″  E