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Then Now The IAEA Turns Forty



       n Tuesday, 29 July 1997, the IAEA officially turned forty. This special anniversary edition of the IAEA
       Bulletin focuses on a rich and challenging slice of the Agency’s life, mainly the years since the mid-
       1980s. A number of events — including those that today are simply known as the cases of Chernobyl
and Iraq — greatly tested the collective skills of world governments and their use of global institutions and
resources. So, too, did far-reaching social, economic, environmental, and political developments of the past
decade, many tied to the dramatic close of the Cold War period, which brought new and difficult issues to
the global agenda. This edition, and the supplement inside of key dates and historical developments, describe
how the IAEA’s role as the world’s centre of nuclear cooperation has evolved in this changing and demand-
ing international picture, and how the Agency and its Member States have responded to the major chal-
lenges before them. The essays and articles draw upon the collective contributions and assistance of many
Agency staff members, past and present, hundreds of whom were contributing Bulletin authors over the past
twelve years. Any errors in reporting are the editor’s own.—Lothar Wedekind, Chief Editor.
Cover: Hannelore Wilczek, IAEA; Stefan Brodek/Vienna.
Photo: IAEA headquarters, Vienna International Centre. Alexandre Lyssenko, IAEA.
              IAEA   BULLETIN


                     THEN&NOW                                                              2
                     The IAEA Turns Forty

                     ARMS CONTROL & VERIFICATION                                           4
                     Safeguards in a Changing World

                     FROM DREAMS TO NEW REALITIES                                         12
                     Steps to Sustain Basic Human Needs

                     ENERGY&ENVIRONMENT                                                   26
                     The Drive for Safer, Cleaner Development

                     IAEA 2000                                                            41
                     Challenges of New Frontiers
                     Viewpoints of Dr. Hans Blix and Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei

                     Key Dates & Historical Developments / Insert

                      IAEA BULLETIN 39/3/1997 (September 1997)   ISSN 0020-6067 Vienna, Austria
                                                                                                  and desires for our own, and
                                                                                                  the planet’s, mutual safety: it
                                                                                                  opened in 1986 with the tragic
                                                                                                  accident at the Chernobyl

                           THE IAEATURNS FORTY                                                    nuclear plant in the Ukraine,
                                                                                                  when the international commu-
                                                                                                  nity’s responsiveness and com-

                                  he International Atomic     nuclear programmes. Talks           mitment were tested. Less than
                                  Energy Agency turns         opened for the international        five years later, in early 1991,
                                  forty at a time of hope     verification of nuclear disarma-    the discovery of a secret
                           and anticipation — moving          ment. All these steps are chart-    nuclear-weapon programme in
                           beyond the confines of its own     ing a different course into the     Iraq cast doubts on the world’s
                           work as an intergovernmental       next century. Yet they bring        ability to stop the spread of the
                           body States created in July        new and difficult issues to the     bomb, and sharply questioned
                           1957 as the world’s “atoms for     world’s nuclear agenda.             the capabilities of national
                           peace” organization. A new            In the IAEA’s relatively short   operatives and IAEA safeguards
                           millennium is at hand. People      lifetime, the past ten years        to detect diversions. Within a
                           wonder how the next chapters       especially have been challeng-      year, the nature of the nuclear
                           in the nuclear age will evolve,    ing and turbulent times.            programme in the Democratic
                           and how safe and productive        Setting the stage were far-         People’s Republic of Korea
                           that age will be.                  reaching changes to the world’s     (DPRK) was raising prolifera-
                             From the global perspective,     political landscape. External       tion concerns, and the safe-
                           tomorrow’s nuclear age is          events swept nuclear issues and     guards system was challenged
                           emerging as far less threatening   the Agency from the back to         again.
                           — and no less promising —          the front pages of newspapers          These events taught hard
                           than the one being left behind     and onto television screens.        lessons that were not lost in
   2                       in the dust of the Cold War.       Reports raised both fears and       briefing and meeting rooms.
                           Results of global nuclear coop-    expectations about the devel-       Governments incrementally
                           eration over the past years        opment of nuclear technology        moved to reinforce and
                           renewed the hopeful 1950s’         and the Agency’s role.              strengthen global regimes for
                           vision of “disarming atomic           This memorable period —          nuclear safety and safeguards in
                           energy”. Though there is still a   the years 1986 to 1997 — is         substantive and sometimes
                           long way to go, the day is         the focus of this edition of the    groundbreaking ways. They
                           drawing closer when no gov-        IAEA Bulletin. The decade           used the IAEA as their main
                           ernment finds “security” in        tested much of the world’s          collective instrument of action.
                           nuclear weapons, and all States    common ground. It demon-            A major result has been a much
                           enshrine their commitments         strated the strengths, and weak-    stronger legal framework for
                           against the bomb’s risks and       nesses, of global action, and       achieving and maintaining
                           uncertainties in lasting law.      hence challenged the capacity,      high levels of nuclear and radi-
                           States took some giant steps       determination, and experience       ation safety, and for verifying
                           over the past decade. The          of an international organization    the exclusively peaceful uses of
                           treaty to prevent the bomb’s       and its members. In a real          nuclear materials. At issue
                           further spread was indefinitely    sense, the years brought out the    today is sustaining the momen-
                           extended. Countries in three       best of the IAEA’s character and    tum, finding ways and means
                           more regions of the world          tradition, and reconfirmed its      to more fully fund and activate
                           bound themselves by forming        role in governmental eyes as the    the new frameworks that have
                           nuclear-weapon-free zones.         world’s central point for nuclear   been put into place.
                           Nuclear testing was banned         cooperation. (See the                  Beyond the crises stands a
                           under a newly adopted global       Supplement inside for a chronol-    long list of less widely publi-
                           treaty. States agreed to new,      ogy covering the IAEA’s history.)   cized events and developments
                           and more intrusive, safeguards        For many observers, the          over the past decade — in
                           inspection measures for the        decade was defined by three         fields ranging from arms con-
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   IAEA’s verification of their       crises that deepened worries        trol to pest control — to
which the IAEA has                             hen the IAEA Secretariat’s top job
responded. Many of the chal-                   changes hands this December, Dr.
lenges concern basic human                     Hans Blix of Sweden will turn
needs — for safe food, water,        over the leadership to Dr. Mohamed
and energy, good health care,        ElBaradei of Egypt. During his sixteen years
and a cleaner environment.           in office since 1981, Dr. Blix guided the
                                     IAEA through several crises — including the

        eading toward the next       temporary withdrawal of the USA from
        millennium, the IAEA         the IAEA at the end of 1982, the
        is starting major new        Chernobyl disaster, and violations of their
chapters in its history.             safeguards agreements by Iraq and the DPRK. As observers have
December 1997 will see a             noted, under his direction the Agency accomplished much to enhance
change of leadership at the          its authority and role in international affairs, and to bolster the inter-
top. After sixteen years in          national legal regime for nuclear energy. His analysis of the lessons
office, Director General Hans        of Iraq provided the framework for a strengthened safeguards pro-
Blix passes the Secretariat’s        gramme approved by the Board in May 1997 — the most important
stewardship to a newly               development in international nuclear safeguards since the NPT safe-
appointed leader, Dr.                guards system was set up in 1971.
Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt.                                       Dr. ElBaradei was appointed to succeed
He will become only the                                           Dr. Blix in June 1997 by a unanimous
fourth Director General in the                                    decision of the Agency’s 35-member
IAEA’s history. (See box.)                                        Board of Governors. The IAEA General
   Another new chapter is                                         Conference is expected to approve his
opening for nuclear safe-                                         appointment to an initial four-year term
guards, where the IAEA’s                                          starting in December. Dr. ElBaradei
inspectorate has been granted                                     holds the rank of Ambassador in the
greater authority and rights of                                   Egyptian Foreign Service. He is a dis-                                   3
access, in efforts to build                                       tinguished international lawyer and
stronger capabilities to detect      diplomat and author of numerous publications on the United
possible secret nuclear activi-      Nations, the IAEA and international law. He has served the IAEA
ties. States now are being           since 1984 in several senior capacities, currently as Assistant Director
asked to accept the legal docu-      General for External Relations.
ment defining new verification       Dr. ElBaradei becomes only the fourth
measures. Still other chapters       Director General of the IAEA in forty
are opening in fields of nuclear     years. The second was Dr. Sigvard Eklund,
and radiation safety, radioac-       a distinguished Swedish scientist first
tive waste management,               appointed in 1961. Dr. Eklund was reap-
nuclear power, and technical         pointed four more times and held the post
cooperation. New strategies          for twenty consecutive years until he
and approaches target the best       retired and was named Director General
“niches” for proven nuclear          Emeritus. It was during his tenure that
technologies, promote wider          the main scientific and technical pro-
use of safety standards, and                                    grammes, including supporting research
build up capabilities to enable                                 and analytical laboratories, were established
more lasting and direct bene-                                   and developed.
fits in countries.                                              At the top during the IAEA’s formative
   How these new chapters came                                  years was Mr. Sterling Cole of the United
to be outlined over the past ten                                States, the first appointed IAEA Director
years is the story of this special                              General who served from 1957-61. A US
anniversary edition. How they                                   Congressman, he had been the Chairman
ultimately will be written                                      of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy
remains the subject of another                                  of the US Congress.
time.—Lothar Wedekind, Editor                                                                                             IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                           ARMS CONTROL
                           & VERIFICATION
                           SAFEGUARDS IN A CHANGING WORLD

                                  ike a locomotive climbing      guards agreement with the          the four-day detention of
                                  mountainside rails, the        IAEA. The attempt was discov-      Agency inspectors in
                                  world’s regime to disarm       ered in 1991, after Iraq’s inva-   September 1991 in a Baghdad
                           the atom has steamed along            sion of Kuwait triggered a UN      parking lot, after they had
                           over the past quarter century,        response and the ensuing Gulf      uncovered key documents.
                           twisting, turning, rolling, rising,   War. In the spring of 1991, the       Today — six years, more
                           sometimes without much fuel           UN Security Council, under a       than 1000 inspections at over
                           and on uneven tracks. Historic        ceasefire resolution, moved to     200 different sites, and hun-
                           events of the past decade have        dismantle and destroy Iraq’s       dreds of interviews later — the
                           tested the mettle of its frame        capabilities for weapons of        clandestine Iraqi nuclear-
                           and engineers.                        mass destruction, setting up a     weapons programme has been
                              States regard the IAEA as a        Special Commission and             uncovered and its components
    4                      key part of that global engine.       authorizing the ways and           destroyed, removed or ren-
                           The Agency’s international            means to do the job. The           dered harmless. To ensure it is
                           safeguards system – the world’s       Council granted the IAEA           not reconstituted, a system of
                           first for on-site verification of     unprecedented inspection           long-term monitoring and ver-
                           arms-control commitments —            rights to root out and eliminate   ification carried out by the
                           serves to ensure that States          the nuclear-weapons pro-           Agency’s Nuclear Monitoring
                           comply with their legal under-        gramme — rights that involved      Group is now in place, work-
                           takings not to develop or pro-        unlimited access to any place      ing with support of the UN
                           duce nuclear weapons. Its ele-        and any person at any time,        Special Commission. Yet the
                           ments include technical mea-          unrestricted use of logistical     relevant nuclear know-how
                           sures and on-site inspections         measures, and the application      remains in the country. (See
                           carried out under safeguards          of new verification techniques.    adjacent box.)
                           agreements to verify the peace-       Member States also provided

                           ful nature of nuclear activities.     access to information, includ-           aghdad’s challenge
                              Of all the events over the         ing satellite imagery. The               sparked critical evalua-
                           past decade, the case of Iraq         inspections had the collective           tions of what went
                           challenged the engine’s limits,       weight, and sanctions power, of    wrong and what to do about it.
                           and sought to exploit them.           the Council behind them.           The review process would take
                           Unknown to the IAEA and                 The special operation in         more than five years, and ulti-
                           undisclosed by any State that         Iraq had international legal       mately lay the foundation for a
                           had strong suspicions, Iraq           authority far beyond that          strengthened safeguards sys-
                           secretly pursued a nuclear-           found in IAEA comprehensive        tem. (See box, page 7.)
                           weapons programme in the              safeguards agreements. Even
                           1980s, breaching its commit-          so, the IAEA’s Iraq Action         Photo: Prof. Maurizio Zifferero,
                           ment under the Treaty on the          Team faced a demanding task,       Leader of the IAEA Iraq Action
                           Non Proliferation of Nuclear          not free of Iraqi resistance.      Team until shortly before illness
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   Weapons (NPT) and its safe-           The most publicized event:         claimed his life in June 1997.
 T       he problems that the
         IAEA and the NPT
         regime faced in Iraq were
 not unique to nuclear non-pro-
 liferation. Any other arms con-
                                     structure, its technical and
                                     financial resources and its
                                     regional and international polit-
                                     ical environment. What is not
                                     open to question is that, even if
                                                                            accountancy. The IAEA was
                                                                            seen by many as having failed its
                                                                            (presumably) first diversion
                                                                            detection text; it had patently
                                                                            been unable to detect a large
 trol or disarmament treaty, for     the physical aspects of the Iraqi      and longstanding undeclared
 instance the Chemical Weapons       programme have been com-               programme. Without the Gulf
 Convention, the Biological          pletely eliminated, it neverthe-       War, the IAEA might not have
 Weapons Convention, and the         less left Iraqi scientists and engi-   discovered the programme until
 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,      neers with an invaluable store         the Iraqi government openly
 could run into similar problems.    of practical knowledge about           demonstrated that it had
    The Iraqi case showed that a     the production and processing          acquired the bomb. While this
 determined and authoritarian        of fissile material and the con-       judgement would have been
 State with very large financial     struction of a nuclear warhead.        unduly harsh — the Director
 resources and a skilled and ded-       The world is unlikely to ever       General, his staff, the Action
 icated nuclear establishment        have a completely effective non-       Team, and the Board of
 could defy its obligations under    proliferation regime or safe-          Governors acted swiftly and
 the NPT and evade detection         guards that are completely fool-       decisively and dealt effectively
 for many years. This evasion        proof. That is, of course, no rea-     with a new and unforeseen
 may have been helped by the         son for taking safeguards out of       challenge — there was no
 fact that, during the Iran-Iraq     the hands of the IAEA as some          doubt that a fundamental                             5
 war, Western governments            suggested after the Gulf War;          review and redirection of the
 tended to tilt towards Iraq,        rather it underlines the contin-       existing IAEA safeguards sys-
 which also received support         uing need to strengthen the            tem was essential. It is to the
 from the Soviet Union.              regime and to enhance the effi-        credit of the IAEA that this
 Whether the clandestine pro-        cacy of the IAEA’s operation.          review was promptly under-
 gramme would have remained             ...There was, however, no           taken and first applied in the
 undetected, once the large elec-    escaping the fact that the first       case of the DPRK.
 tromagnetic isotope separation      breach of an IAEA safeguards            — Excerpts from David Fischer’s
 plants went into full produc-       agreement had been by the use          new book on the IAEA’s history.
 tion, is an open question. So,      of unsuspected and unwatched           See the back cover of the
 too, is the question of the         clandestine plants, and not by         Supplement to this edition for
 uniqueness of Iraq’s circum-        diverting declared materials and       more information about it.
 stances — its internal political    cheating the IAEA’s material

   The Iraqi case had radically      saw the IAEA’s job as verifying          A sign of what could be
changed the political environ-       States’ declarations, not to con-      achieved came in 1991 and
ment and raised the stakes. It       duct “fishing expeditions” to          1992, when IAEA Director
altered how States perceived         seek out undeclared material.          General Blix secured three
their own national security vis-     There was also considerable            measures he deemed essential if
a-vis IAEA safeguards. As a          political sensitivity about the        the IAEA were to be able to
result, they were more willing       IAEA’s use of information              prevent another State from try-
to extend greater latitude to        acquired other than from the           ing to follow Iraq’s example. As
the Agency in interpreting its       State itself, in particular infor-     David Fischer, author of a new
rights and obligations, though       mation acquired through                book about the IAEA,
not at first. Some States strictly   “national technical means”.            recounts: First, the Agency’s       IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                           Board of Governors reaffirmed        of Korea (DPRK) in early                he DPRK case seriously
                           the IAEA’s right to carry out a      1992. Like Iraq, the country            challenged the integrity of
                           special inspection in a State that   was party to the NPT and had            the system, and still does.
                           had accepted comprehensive           concluded a comprehensive         But as author David Fischer
                           safeguards, if needed to confirm     safeguards agreement with the     points out, the first new verifi-
                           that all nuclear material that       Agency. Questions arose           cation approaches paid off:
                           should be under safeguards had       almost from the start, when       q The IAEA detected a mis-
                           been reported to the IAEA.           the Agency found discrepan-       match between the plutonium
                              Second, the Board of              cies concerning declared          that the DPRK presented to it
                           Governors agreed to provide          amounts of plutonium. When        as products or in waste using
                           the IAEA with greater access to      the Director General formally     sophisticated analytical tech-
                           information. As Dr. Blix put it,     demanded a special inspection,    niques. This led the IAEA to
                           the IAEA could not scour the         the DPRK rejected it. The         conclude that the DPRK had
                           territories of numerous non-         IAEA Board found the DPRK         understated the amount of
                           nuclear-weapon States party to       in breach of its safeguards       plutonium it had separated.
                           the NPT “in a blind search” for      agreement and reported it to      q The IAEA Board of
                           undeclared nuclear plants or         the Security Council, which       Governors formally reaffirmed
                           material. The right to carry out     backed the Agency. Events cas-    the IAEA’s right, in the con-
                           special inspections would not        caded from there, including       text of comprehensive safe-
                           be of much practical value           rounds of high-level political    guards agreements, to carry
                           unless the IAEA knew where to        talks between the DPRK and        out special inspections at
                           look. The Board concurred in a       the United States. In October     undeclared locations. The
                           series of proposals to ensure        1994, the two countries signed    DPRK’s rejection of such
                           that the Agency would have           an Agreed Framework that          inspections deepened suspi-
                           more extensive information           included provisions to freeze     cions of its programme.
                           about the nuclear activities and     key elements of the DPRK’s        q The IAEA was provided
    6                      plans of States concerned.           nuclear programme and to          with satellite images of suffi-
                              Third, the Board of               have the IAEA verify it.          ciently high quality to con-
                           Governors agreed that the               The situation largely pre-     vince its Board of the probable
                           backing of the Security              vails. The Agency’s ongoing       existence of undeclared nuclear
                           Council would be essential if a      verification includes having      waste stores. This also estab-
                           nation blocked effective verifi-     inspectors continuously sta-      lished a useful precedent for
                           cation of its safeguards agree-      tioned in the DPRK, and           IAEA access to national intelli-
                           ment with the IAEA. That             ensuring that nuclear installa-   gence.
                           came on 31 January 1992,             tions subject to the freeze are   q The Board demonstrated
                           when the Council’s President         actually frozen. Other issues     that it was able to take prompt
                           issued a declaration on behalf       originally identified by the      and decisive action, confirm-
                           of its members, represented at       IAEA remain unresolved. The       ing within four days the
                           the meeting by their Heads of        DPRK still has not complied       Director General’s demand for
                           State or government. The             fully with its safeguards         a special inspection and thrice
                           Council considered that the          agreement, and the Agency         finding that the DPRK had
                           proliferation of all weapons of      has not yet gained access to      breached its safeguards agree-
                           mass destruction constituted a       information needed for a          ment, reporting violations to
                           threat to international peace        comprehensive picture of the      the Security Council.
                           and security and its members         nuclear programme.                q For the first time (except
                           would take appropriate mea-          Questions remain about the        in the abnormal circum-
                           sures in the case of any viola-      completeness of the initial       stances of Iraq) the Board
                           tion reported by the IAEA.           declaration of nuclear activi-    made use of the IAEA’s direct
                                                                ties. As past events have         line to the Security Council

                               o initially reinforced, the      shown, how the issues are         to draw the Council’s atten-
                               system was unexpectedly          ultimately resolved may well      tion to a deliberate and signif-
                               tested again, in the             depend upon factors outside       icant violation of a safeguards
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   Democratic People’s Republic         the Agency’s control.             agreement.
        ew safeguards measures       has been declared. The Board
        adopted this year have       in 1995 confirmed the right.
        opened a groundbreaking      q Use of advanced technolo-
new track. They are the out-         gies that can operate unattend-        it as a transition to a “two lane, or
growth of governmental and           ed to transmit information to          two speed” safeguards system —
IAEA efforts since 1991 to give      IAEA headquarters.                     with one lane for States having
the safeguards system more teeth        Part-2 measures incorporated        only a safeguards agreement in
— a much greater chance to dis-      in the protocol include:               force, and the other lane covering
cover possible secret nuclear        q An “expanded declaration”            States that have added the pro-
activities. The IAEA Board of        to provide information on              tocol to their safeguards agree-
Governors in May 1997                activities related to the nuclear      ments and accepted the new,
adopted a model protocol to          fuel cycle. This will help give        Part-2 verification measures.
comprehensive safeguards agree-      the IAEA a better understand-             This new Strengthened Safe-
ments that grants the inspec-        ing of a State’s nuclear pro-          guards System, he says, will make
torate broader rights of access to   gramme, its future directions,         the work of the IAEA difficult
sites and information. States        and the kinds of nuclear activi-       and complex. But he is convinced
accepting the protocol will pro-     ties the programme’s infra-            that with the combined efforts of
vide additional information on       structure could support.               Member States, the Agency’s
nuclear and related activities.      q Access to any place on a             Board, and its Secretariat, the
Moreover, the IAEA will have         nuclear facility site, to any          challenge will be met.                                   7
greater access to activities and     decommissioned facility, and              Valuable experience has been
locations to detect clandestine      to any other location where            gained through trials of some
nuclear programmes.                  nuclear material is present; to        measures — including remote
   The protocol is the direct out-   nuclear-related manufacturing          monitoring, environmental
come of a two-part process for       and other locations identified         sampling, and closer coopera-
achieving a strengthened and         by the State in its expanded           tion with State nuclear-control
more cost-effective safeguards       declaration; and to other loca-        authorities — as well as through
system. Part-1, approved by the      tions identified by the IAEA.          an import/export reporting
IAEA Board in 1995 and being         q The use of environmental             scheme approved by the IAEA
implemented now, includes:           sampling and other measures            Board in 1992. The scheme
q Environmental sampling at          at these locations.                    today encompasses 52 States,
locations to which the IAEA             It will take some years before      including most nuclear suppliers.
has access for design informa-       the strengthened system is fully
tion verification or inspections.    and generally operative. The           —Based on papers and statements
It is considered a powerful tool     IAEA has initiated the process         by Dr. Hans Blix, Bruno Pellaud,
for detecting the presence of        of acceptance by governments,          and Richard Hooper, Director of
undeclared activities at or near     and some already are taking steps      the IAEA Safeguards Division of
declared nuclear sites.              to adhere to the protocol.             Concepts & Planning and pro-
q “No-notice” inspections at            In Vienna, the Agency’s imme-       ject leader of the “93+2” safe-
the strategic points of all          diate challenge is to integrate and    guards development pro-
nuclear facilities.                  adequately fund its conventional       gramme.
q The Agency’s right of              and new safeguards operations,
access to records of activities      with an eye to greater overall effi-   Photo: Inspections in Iraq. IAEA
carried out before a safeguards      ciency and effectiveness. IAEA         inspector Demetrius Perricos (centre)
agreement enters into force, to      Deputy Director General for            now carries responsibilities that
help ensure that all material        Safeguards, Bruno Pellaud, sees        include safeguards in the DPRK.         IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                   s warmer winds calmed       had not been completely ter-          The zones now cover most of
                                   the global security envi-   minated and dismantled.               the Southern Hemisphere.
                                   ronment in the 1990s, a       The case broadened the              Customizing the zonal
                           third major test arose. In March    IAEA’s verification experience,       approach, two major countries,
                           1993, South Africa announced        and demonstrated key factors at       Argentina and Brazil, codified
                           to a startled world that it had     play. For its part, South Africa      renunciations of nuclear
                           dismantled its nuclear-weapons      offered every opportunity for         weapons. They opened their
                           programme — before it               access to any location the IAEA       large nuclear programmes to
                           acceded to the NPT as a non-        inspectorate deemed necessary         joint inspections, formed a bilat-
                           nuclear-weapon State in July        to fulfill its tasks. This enabled    eral inspectorate, and in 1994
                           1991 and signed an IAEA com-        the Agency to effectively apply       concluded a quadripartite agree-
                           prehensive safeguards agree-        new verification techniques and       ment accepting comprehensive
                           ment not much later. The news       make valuable use of external         IAEA safeguards. Then in May
                           prompted the IAEA to aug-           information. As importantly,          1995, the parties to the NPT,
                           ment its safeguards team in         the case helped show what is          today numbering 185 countries,
                           South Africa with, among other      possible when a government            extended the Treaty indefinitely,
                           specialists, nuclear-weapon         credibly pursues a policy of          and thereby the permanency of
                           experts. The team’s assignment      nuclear transparency.                 associated IAEA safeguards. As
                           was extended to include assess-                                           the 1990s draw to a close, ongo-

                           ing the status of the former                ehind the headline cases      ing progress in nuclear disarma-
                           weapons programme and ascer-                were less highly publicized   ment places other verification
                           taining that all its related                demands on the regime,        tasks on the table as warheads
                           nuclear material had been           including the safeguards compo-       are dismantled. A net result is
                           recovered and placed under          nent. The dissolution of the          that more nuclear materials and
                           safeguards.                         Soviet Union in the early 1990s       installations have come under
                              The job to verify the cor-       meant that Russia and three           IAEA safeguards and verification
    8                      rectness, and for the first time    newly independent States would        over the past decade, as new
                           the completeness of a State’s       have nuclear weapons on their         agreements are activated with
                           declared nuclear programme,         territories — Belarus,                non-nuclear-weapon States, and
                           was tough. South Africa’s           Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, each         the nuclear-weapon States seek
                           extensive nuclear fuel cycle        of which since has opted to join      to verify their arms cuts. (See
                           required considerable               the NPT and accept compre-            graphs and box at right.)
                           resources to inspect and it         hensive IAEA safeguards agree-

                           required help from South            ments. It also brought the issue              ot lost in this changing
                           African authorities for access      of stopping illicit nuclear traf-             picture is the challenge
                           to facilities and operating         ficking to the global and IAEA                of costs. Spending for
                           records. Over the months that       agendas. (See box, page 10.)          safeguards, and other IAEA
                           followed, the team thoroughly          Elsewhere, the Agency’s role       programmes, has seen little
                           examined detailed records, vis-     was being recast as more States       growth in real terms over the
                           ited sites, and verified the        formed nuclear-weapon-free            past decade, and in several cases
                           inventories of nuclear materi-      zones that call for IAEA verifica-    following the breakup of the
                           als in South Africa. As a result,   tion. New regional zones since        Soviet Union, deep cuts were
                           it was able to document the         1985 include those in the South       imposed that extrabudgetary
                           timing and scope of the for-        Pacific (Rarotonga Treaty), in        contributions from some States
                           mer nuclear-weapons pro-            South East Asia (Bangkok              only partly offset.
                           gramme. The work enabled            Treaty), and in Africa (Pelindaba       Steps to minimize costs are
                           the IAEA to conclude that           Treaty). They join zones set up       built into the IAEA’s
                           there were no indications to        earlier in Latin America and the      Strengthened Safeguards
                           suggest that South Africa’s ini-    Caribbean (Tlatelolco Treaty), as     System. Measures taken or
                           tial declaration of nuclear         well as those in regions having       under consideration target the
                           material to the Agency was          no human populations                  “optimization of resources”,
                           incomplete or that the              (Antartica Treaty, Outer Space        often linked to better use of
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   nuclear-weapons programme           Treaty, and the Seabed Treaty).       modern communications, new
                                                                                                                           RISING STOCKS
                                                                                           ismantling of nuclear war-
                                                                                           heads is releasing large
                                                                                           quantities of plutonium
                                                                                   and high-enriched uranium,
                                                                                   adding to global stockpiles from
                                                                                   civilian reprocessing of nuclear fuel
                                                                                   and placing new demands on
                                                                                   IAEA verification. By the end of
                                                                                   1996, the Agency was safeguard-
                                                                                   ing materials including:
                                                                                   q 53.7 tonnes of separated
                                                                                   plutonium. Just over sixteen
                                                                                   tonnes, or about 2000 “signifi-
                                                                                   cant quantities” (roughly the
                                                                                   equivalent of some 2000 war-
       800      850           900         950          1000         1050   1100
                                                                                   heads) were safeguarded in
                 Nuclear installations under IAEA safeguards                       non-nuclear-weapon States.
                                                                                   q 528.2 tonnes of plutonium
                                                                                   in irradiated fuel.
                                                                                   q 4.5 tonnes of recycled plu-
             SAFEGUARDS AGREEMENTS                                                 tonium in fuel elements in
                                                                                   reactor cores.
                                                                                   q 20.8 tonnes of high-
                                                                                   enriched uranium, amounting
                                                                                   to 616 significant quantities.
                                                                                   Just over ten tonnes, or about
                                                                                   300 significant quantities,                                       9
                                                                                   were safeguarded in non-
1990                                                                               nuclear-weapon States.
                                                                                   q 48,620 tonnes of low-
                                                                                   enriched uranium and
1985                                                                               105,431 tonnes of source
                                                                                   material (natural or depleted
       0         50                 100          150              200      250     uranium and thorium).
                      Number of safeguards agreements in force                        Of all these materials, only sep-
                      Number of States with agreements in force                    arated plutonium and high-
                                                                                   enriched uranium can be directly
                                                                                   used in nuclear weapons. Still, all
verification technologies, and                  mission of data; considering       of the safeguarded material must
automated office systems.                       more regional safeguards           be inspected and its uses verified.
They include expanding the                      offices to save travel costs and      In response to global concern
use of the IAEA’s two regional                  facilitate inspections; expanded   about growing separated pluto-
safeguards offices in Toronto                   training of inspectors; and        nium stocks, the IAEA began in
and Tokyo; concluding a part-                   joint use of equipment and         1993 to create a database on the
nership agreement for joint                     analytical laboratories by the     amounts in civilian nuclear pro-
safeguards operations with the                  IAEA and State nuclear-con-        grammes and closely followed
European Atomic Energy                          trol authorities.                  the work of its Member States
Community inspectorate;                            The steps are expected to       which are in the process of iden-
reducing the frequency of                       keep the strengthened pro-         tifying additional confidence-
inspections at certain facilities;              gramme cost-neutral over           building measures relating to the
greater use of unattended mea-                  time, once higher start-up         safe handling, storage, and dis-
surement and surveillance                       expenses are met. Right now,       posal of plutonium.
equipment with remote trans-                    future financial needs are hard                                                    IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                             ANTI NUCLEAR-
                                   troubling concern of the       material in global transport and        small quantities and radioactive
                                   1990s surrounds the            at nuclear facilities.                  sources.      Some cases have
                                   spectre of stolen nuclear          The IAEA’s programme against        involved high-enriched uranium
                            materials being traded or sold        illicit trafficking covers a number     or plutonium. Attempts have
                            on the black market. Many             of components related to pre-           been made to illegally sell the
                            reported cases of illicit traffick-   vention, response, training, and        materials. Also, cases involving
                            ing in nuclear materials focused      the exchange of information.            weapons-grade material in small
                            global attention on the prob-         While national authorities carry        quanities deserve attention in the
                            lem in the early and mid-1990s,       the responsibility to combat illicit    context of non-proliferation,
                            and led to concerted efforts to       trafficking in their countries,         since larger quantities of nuclear
                            combat the smuggling. In April        effective action requires close         material having strategic value
                            1996, the Nuclear Safety and          cooperation among States and            could be accumulated. In gen-
                            Security Summit in Moscow             international organizations. Over       eral, the unauthorized use or
                            underlined the importance of          recent years, States have asked the     movement of radioactive mater-
                            preventing the problem, and           Agency to assist relevant national      ial can endanger the lives of peo-
                            agreed on a programme of joint        authorities and regional and            ple handling it and can threaten
                            action.                               global organizations in various         public safety.
                              In some areas, States have          ways. The programme includes               The IAEA plans to continue
                            turned to the IAEA for assis-         the development and operation of        assisting countries in the devel-
                            tance. As early as 1992, the          a reliable database on incidents        opment of national systems for
   10                       Agency began helping successor        of illicit trafficking. Since October   the control of nuclear materials
                            States of the Soviet Union to         1996, the Agency has provided           and providing technical support
                            apply effective preventive mea-       authoritative summary informa-          related to areas of physical pro-
                            sures. It also encouraged them,       tion of confirmed cases to its          tection. Also planned is continued
                            and other States, to ratify and       Member States and certain inter-        interaction with Member States
                            apply the 1987 Convention on          national organizations working          and international organizations,
                            the Physical Protection of            with the IAEA on the problem.           such as customs and other
                            Nuclear Materials, and to apply       Most confirmed cases so far,            authorities mainly responsible for
                            the IAEA’s guidelines on physi-       about 150 over the 1993-97              detection, prevention, and con-
                            cal protection, to guard against      period, have involved low-              trol.— Based on reports by Svein
                            the theft or diversion of nuclear     enriched or natural uranium in          Thorstensen and Anita Nilsson.

                           to pin down, though it’s clear         1996. The organization to ver-          materials could come under
                           more resources are needed.             ify the commitments of States           IAEA verification from the five
                           One major uncertainty: how             party to the Treaty is being set        declared military nuclear pow-
                           many States, and when, will            up in Vienna. Though                    ers — China, France, Russia,
                           accept the new verification            prospects for the Treaty’s early        United Kingdom, and United
                           measures and allow the IAEA            entry into force are cloudy, it         States — and the three remain-
                           to start implementing them.            has near-universal backing to           ing States that are operating
                                                                  drive a deeper nail into the cof-       unsafeguarded nuclear plants,

                                  fter years of negotiations      fin of nuclear testing.                 India, Israel, and Pakistan.
                                  stalled in Geneva, a               Up ahead may be an agree-            Pending future treaty provi-
                                  Comprehensive Test Ban          ment to cut off the production          sions, the States may be
                           Treaty was approved and                of fissile material for nuclear         required to place under IAEA
                           opened for signature by the UN         weapons. If one is concluded, as        safeguards all their reprocessing
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   General Assembly in September          David Fischer points out, more          and enrichment plants, and all
the plutonium and high-
enriched uranium produced by
those plants that continue to
operate, as well as any other
plants using such material.

        uring the decade, States
        entrusted the IAEA
        inspectorate with new
tasks for the international ver-
ification of arms control and
nuclear disarmament. It
already verifies about twelve
tons of ex-military plutonium
and highly enriched uranium
in storage in the USA. Under
a Trilateral Initiative with the
USA and Russia, the dimen-
sions of further verification       United States and Russia might       financial details to be worked
arrangements are being closely      sour and today’s surplus materi-     out on questions related to the
examined for fissile materials      als might be used to jump start      nature, scope, and specific
released from weapons pro-          a resurgent nuclear arms race.       requirements of verification.
grammes.                               “If the storage and disposi-      The overall objective is to pro-
   No one should under-esti-        tion of those fissile materials is   vide credible assurances that
mate the new assignments,           carried out in a prudent man-        fissile materials submitted for
notes Bruno Pellaud, IAEA           ner, Russia and the United           verification are not used again
Deputy Director for                 States may agree to further          for nuclear explosive purposes.                            11
Safeguards. In remarks at an        arms reductions, other nuclear-      —Lothar Wedekind, based on
International Policy Forum in       weapon States may begin to           contributions, papers, and arti-
the USA earlier this year, he       reduce their arsenals indepen-       cles by Dr. Hans Blix, Bruno
reviewed major issues con-          dently or in lock-step, and the      Pellaud, Dr. Mohamed
fronting the global community:      international community will         ElBaradei, Ms. Jan Priest, Ms.
   “The process of nuclear dis-     be more effective in efforts to      Laura Rockwood, Richard
armament will pose challenges       prevent any further prolifera-       Hooper, Dirk Schriefer, Ms.
to domestic, regional, and          tion of nuclear weapons.             Merle Opelz, Berhan
international security, to eco-        “The international commu-         Andemicael, David Fischer,
nomic growth and to environ-        nity, in particular the IAEA, will   David Sinden, Thomas Shea,
mental protection. Even the         need to find ways to meet the        Ms. Anita Nilsson, Garry
beginning steps being taken by      challenge of a verification          Dillon, Demetrius Perricos,
the United States and Russia        assignment that goes beyond the      Adolph von Baeckmann, and
are not without problems: dis-      experience accumulated so far in     Svein Thorstensen.
mantling the tens of thousands      the area of non-proliferation.”      _______________________
of warheads is creating a sur-         Concerning the IAEA’s             Photo: A storage facility being built
plus of plutonium and highly        emerging role, he said that pre-     near Ozyarsk, Russia will house mate-
enriched uranium which is no        liminary work has started,           rial from dismantled nuclear weapons.
longer needed for defense pro-      within the framework of the          President Yeltsin has said the IAEA
grammes, and that plutonium         Trilateral Initiative, to set up a   will be asked to verify that this mater-
and highly enriched uranium         verification system that “may        ial is not reused for weapons. Recently
demands protection and pru-         ultimately parallel the non-pro-     Director General Blix (left) and senior
dent disposal. Concerns remain      liferation IAEA safeguards sys-      IAEA officers met with Russian offi-
that those materials might be       tem”. He emphasized that talks       cials and visited the construction site.
stolen through force or guile, or   are still in early stages, with      (Credit: IAEA)
that relations between the          many legal, technical, and                                                      IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
        tomic energy inspired
        high and lofty dreams
        generations ago — of
electricity so cheap to generate
that people everywhere could
have it...of cars, trains, and fly-
ing machines that would run
on longlife powerpacks...of
desalting ocean waters and
turning arid deserts green. As
David Fischer recounts in his
rich history of the IAEA,
many people then so fiercely
awakened to the atom’s dark
side in the warn-torn 1940s
later strongly embraced the
1950s cause of harnessing its
brighter future. Winston
Churchill saw the peaceful
atom as a “perennial fountain
of world prosperity”. He was
not alone among the day’s
politicians or scientists.
   Alongside deep fears and stark
realities of the post-war years,
those early dreams set the
imperatives, popular images,
and expectations for the peace-
ful development of atomic
energy, and the roles of the
IAEA. Not all the dreams with-
stood the tests of time, and
some died early. But many more
were studied, pursued, and
demonstrated in research labo-
ratories, hospitals, and farmer’s
fields. They yield lasting results
societies benefit from today.
   The past decade’s major
events and political changes
transformed the global picture
significantly, and left their sig-
nature on the IAEA’s pro-
grammes for peaceful nuclear
cooperation. Chernobyl, the
Gulf War, the Iraq inspections,
alarms over global warming,
health problems of “hidden
hunger”, agricultural threats in
Africa and Latin America, con-
cerns over radiological safety at
   old nuclear dumping and test-         environmental threats to the        permanent life to the Treaty on
   ing sites in the Arctic seas and      earth’s “sustainable develop-       the Non-Proliferation of
   the South Pacific— all com-           ment” are key reasons why.          Nuclear Weapons and associ-
   manded action. They tested the        States meeting at the UN’s          ated IAEA safeguards agree-
   capabilities of nuclear-based         Earth Summit in Rio in June         ments — States strongly reaf-
   tools and the readiness of the        1992 set targets for the next       firmed governmental interest
   IAEA to mobilize its own and          century, adopting the docu-         and support for global nuclear
   others’ analytical, laboratory,       ment called Agenda 21. They         cooperation through IAEA
   and technical resources for           revisited the Agenda — exam-        channels. They lauded Agency
   investigating, solving, and pre-      ining water, food, environmen-      approaches and initiatives for
   venting serious problems.             tal, and other problems — and       the transfer of peaceful nuclear
     Now, as the decade unwinds,         gauged progress at a UN spe-        technologies, especially for
   nuclear technologies, like            cial session in June this year.     strengthened technical coopera-
   many others, increasingly are         On many key issues, they            tion and nuclear safety pro-
   tested on commercial and              found the distance to go long       grammes. Renewed efforts were
   developmental, not military,          and hard, the politics difficult,   needed, they said, to adequately
   fronts. The world’s changed           and the costs high.                 fund and support them.
   global security climate and ris-        At another key event —

   ing concerns about social and         when Parties in May 1995 gave               o newly challenged and
                                                                                     directed, today’s global
                                                                                     picture is framed in

             ansour Shahein and                                              familiar fields of long-held
             his family are part of a                                        dreams and new realities. The
             modern day “atomic”                                             dream of health for all...and
    dream in Maradja, Egypt. On                                              the reality of child malnutri-                       13
    a farm in arid countryside, they                                         tion. The dream of food in
    grow wheat, fruit trees, sugar                                           every hand...and the reality of
    cane and other crops on lands                                            eroding soils. The dream of
    that once were desert. Their                                             fresh water to drink...and the
    fields, and others like it in this                                       reality of drying wells. The
    oasis village, rely totally on                                           dream of a safe environment
    water tapped from seventy                                                to live in...and the reality of
    kilometres       underground.                                            polluted air.
    Where the water comes from                                                  Nuclear energy — fresh from
    — seepage from the Nile river        IAEA is supporting their efforts    long years of being saddled and
    or an aquifer deep below the         through a regional water pro-       strained by polarizing images of
    sands— and how long the              ject extending beyond Egypt         “mushroom clouds” and “peren-
    wells will last, no one yet          to Morocco, Senegal, and            nial fountains”— can make new
    knows. They are now begin-           Ethiopia. Less than one per-        and important contributions for
    ning to find out. Egyptian           cent of the world’s total fresh     sustaining basic human needs.
    hydrologists are gathering data      water resources is found in the     Proven tools and expertise are at
    about the groundwater’s ori-         Middle East and North Africa.       hand. Supported through tar-
    gins and capacity using isotopic     As scientists explore their         geted IAEA projects, people in
    methods of investigation.            region’s water lifelines, isotope   countries around the world are
    What they learn will help them       techniques could hold the           demonstrating how their
    better manage the water supply       answers to sustain scarce and       dreams to overcome some hard
    or identify other sources that       fragile resources.                  realities can drive and sustain
    can prolong the years of har-        —based on a report by David         their own futures, and their
    vests for Manzour and farm-          Kinley, IAEA Division of Public     nation’s social and economic
    ing families in Maradja. The         Information.                        development.
                                                                             —Lothar Wedekind                    IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                           FOOD                                                  FOR MORE OF
                                                                                 THE WORLD
                                  y sheer numbers alone,       disease. Elsewhere, the target has   by reducing the country’s need
                                  the challenge is daunt-      been on ways for enriching har-      to import grain and chemical
                                  ing. About 840 million       vests through plant, soil, water,    fertilizers. The IAEA has
                           people — one of every five          and other food-related research.     launched separate model pro-
                           women, men, and children in         (See report page 16.) Countries      jects in Zimbabwe and
                           developing countries — are          have attained significant results    Bangladesh to further support
                           hungry and malnourished.            in the process.                      national efforts.
                           Less than thirty years from                                                In Asia overall, grain legume
                           now, an estimated 680 million       q Soil scientists in                 production has grown by an
                           more hungry people, mostly in       Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are          average of twenty-five percent
                           our poorest societies, will live    applying nature’s ways to over-      using biofertilizers. Pakistan
                           among the world’s projected         come problems of crop nutri-         recently introduced one for rice
                           population of 8.3 billion. The      tion. Over the past decades,         estimated to bring benefits of
                           bottom line: the food we pro-       they further demonstrated the        $133 million annually in terms
                           duce has to be better conserved     effectiveness of using natural       of higher yields and lower use
                           and distributed, or otherwise       “biofertilizers” to increase crop    of chemical fertilizers.
                           food production has to grow         yields. Their work involves fer-       In Romania, farmers have
   14                      by more than seventy-five per-      tilizers produced by rhizobia        benefitted from other types of
                           cent between now and then.          bacteria. Detailed studies to        isotope studies, ones directed
                              Solving food problems is not     analyze crop nutrients and           at more efficient use of chemi-
                           easy, and all the tools and         growth are done using isotope        cal fertilizers. By tailoring field
                           knowledge at our disposal are       techniques. When rhizobia            applications of nitrogen and
                           needed. Over the past decades,      treatments are applied to seeds      phosphorus to the studies’
                           important strides have put more     of suitable pulse crops, such as     results, farmers achieved yield
                           food in the hands of people.        peas or soybeans, they stimu-        increases for maize worth $217
                           Food production has grown, in       late the production of root          million a year — and saved
                           some countries dramatically.        nodules that can biologically        $60 million in fertilizer costs.
                           Overall, each of today’s 5.8 bil-   produce nitrogen from the air
                           lion people has more food than      and stimulate plant growth.          q In Mexico, the USA,
                           people had twenty years ago,        Zimbabwe field trials have           Libya, Tanzania’s Zanzibar
                           when the world’s population was     shown that rhizobium biofer-         Island, Chile, Belize,
                           four billion. Yet clearly much      tilizers more than doubled soy-      Guatemala, Honduras, and El
                           more needs to be done.              bean yields, out-performing          Salvador, project teams have
                              The IAEA’s work over the past    crop fields treated with expen-      successfully battled insect pests
                           decade, jointly with the UN         sive ammonium nitrate fertil-        threatening crops and live-
                           Food and Agriculture                izer. In Bangladesh, studies         stock. A key common tool of
                           Organization (FAO), has faced       found that the biofertilizers        the campaigns: the radiation-
                           different sets of challenges. In    typically can increase the har-      based technology known as
                           some countries, specialists have    vest of grain legumes by about       the sterile insect technique
                           zeroed in on technically helping    one-fourth. Larger scale pro-        (SIT), a biological method
                           them to protect and preserve the    duction, now planned through         developed at the Agency’s lab-
                           food resources they have, and       a demonstration plant, could         oratories and transferred to the
                           prevent losses of indigenous        lead to potential savings of         field by FAO/IAEA technical
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   crops and livestock to pests or     about US $30 million a year          staff and scientists. The com-
bined value to agricultural          animal vaccination programmes
economies from the use of SIT        and disease monitoring are
in these campaigns exceeds           being done. Such high levels of
$3.5 billion per year.               immunity have been achieved
   Most benefits accrue from         that it’s been possible to stop
campaigns in the USA and             mass vaccination, saving several
Mexico, where the New World          hundred million dollars a year.
Screwworm, a fly which attacks       Some of the twelve countries in
livestock, was eradicated in         an IAEA project have or will
1991. The pest found its way to      soon make international decla-
Libya in the early 1990s, and        rations of freedom from rinder-
was eradicated there in 1992 at a    pest. Once all do likewise,
cost of $60 million. The timely      Africa could realize economic
campaign saved North Africa’s        benefits to agriculture of over
agricultural economies fifty         $900 million a year.
times as much as it cost, in terms
of losses avoided and benefits       q In China and Peru, a com-
gained. Another devastating          mon challenge is to boost crop
insect, the Medfly, was eradi-       production. Plant breeders are
cated in Chile, netting the coun-    using mutation techniques to       Laboratories through its joint
try benefits valued at $500 mil-     help meet specific needs. In       FAO/IAEA laboratory and
lion per year, mainly through        China, among the latest            other branches. The transfer
access to Asian export markets.      achievements stand eleven new      channels extend to three
   In Zanzibar — where the           rice varieties. They were plant-   regional arrangements for coun-
battle is against tsetse flies and   ed in fields of a million          tries in Asia and the Pacific,
the disease trypanosomosis it        hectares over six provinces.       Latin America, and Africa,
can inflict — the families of        Rice production there grew by      where twenty-one countries                             15
Jozani village measure benefits      380,000 metric tonnes, at an       have joined since 1990. A key is
of eradication in other ways.        estimated value to farmers of      research, and over the past
Before the campaign about ten        more than $50 million. In the      decade, the IAEA directly
years ago, they simply saw no        oxygen-thin Peruvian high-         financed research and demon-
cattle around because of the         lands, new varieties of cereal     stration activities valued at over
constant threat of disease.          signal harvests even under a       $43 million. Nearly 2000
Today the community rears            harsh and variable climate.        research contracts and agree-
more than 300 head of cattle         Seeds of a mutant variety of       ments were put in place in
for meat, milk, and hides. An        barley Peru produced now are       some ninety industrialized and
IAEA-supported project is now        being distributed to 200,000       developing countries, in agri-
providing technical assistance       people resettling Andean           culture, hydrology, and a range
for SIT’s use against the tsetse     farms. Within three years, they    of other fields.
fly on mainland Africa, starting     should be growing on about            Over the past thirty years,
in Ethiopia.                         40,000 hectares of highland.       global food production has
                                                                        grown about eighty percent,

q Elsewhere throughout                     hese achievements show       serving more of the world. Over
Africa, the challenge is to free           the Agency’s multi-          the next thirty, projections are it
livestock from another serious             dimensional roles and the    needs to grow another seventy-
health threat, rinderpest or         practical benefits that nuclear    five percent. Just to keep up. —
“cattle plague”. When the            tools can help countries attain.   Lothar Wedekind, based on
regional eradication campaign        Results are closely linked to      reports by James Dargie, Royal
began in the late 1980s, the         team efforts typically engaging    Kastens, David Kinley, Ali
disease was found in fourteen        expertise and resources among      Boussaha, and Paulo Barretto.
African countries. Today it is       IAEA partner organizations and
restricted to relatively isolated    scientific networks, spearheaded   Photo: Green fields in Zimbabwe.
pockets, where IAEA-supported        by the Agency’s Seibersdorf        (Credit: Kinley/IAEA)                 IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                          esearch in agricultural
                                          fields keeps advancing
                                          in the 1990s, and IAEA
                                   and FAO scientists working
                                   with counterparts worldwide
                                   are contributing in important

                                   ANIMAL HEALTH
                                   About ten years ago, scientists
                                   realized that a nuclear-based
                   ADVANCING RESEARCH

                                   diagnostic technique —
                                   enzyme-linked immunosorbent
                                   assay, or ELISA — could over-
                                   come many technical problems
                                   and be effectively applied for
                                   nearly all major diseases affect-
                                   ing livestock in developing
                                   countries. In the 1990s, the
                                   Joint FAO/IAEA Division
                                   developed methodologies and
                                   approaches for transferring
                                   ELISA technologies efficiently.     ported research, they are study-       and public health. Over the
                                   Standardized and validated kits     ing a practice called “deficit irri-   past decade, working through
                                   tailored for the developing         gation” using neutron probes to        global research networks, scien-
                                   world now are used by authori-      investigate and evaluate soil          tists have zeroed in on biotech-
  16                               ties in seventy countries,          moisture and crop water                nological approaches to
                                   including many engaged in an        requirements. So far, some posi-       improve the applicability and
                                   intensified global campaign         tive results have been seen. In        effectiveness of the technique
                                   against rinderpest, or “cattle      Argentina, researchers found           against fruit flies, specifically
                                   plague”. The ELISA technique        that cotton growers could              the Mediterranean fruit fly, or
                                   today is a key management           achieve high yields by using half      Medfly. They now have devel-
                                   tool to monitor progress in         as much water during the vege-         oped a genetic technology
                                   support of other animal health      tative and flowering stages, and       designed to optimize the rear-
                                   campaigns worldwide: foot-          no irrigation whenever the soil        ing of male flies and reduce the
                                   and-mouth disease, which has        moisture content is ninety per-        overall costs of applying SIT in
                                   been eradicated from Europe,        cent or higher. In Brazil, irrigat-    the field. In other research, sci-
                                   Indonesia, and Uruguay and is       ing with half as much water at         entists recently recorded the
                                   being wiped out in the              certain growth stages netted           first confirmed case of genetic
                                   Americas; brucellosis, where a      higher yields for bean and corn        transformation in the Medfly, a
                                   blueprint now exists for its        crops. In Morocco, the tech-           breakthrough that offers the
                                   eradication across Europe and       nique was applied to develop           chance to develop strains of the
                                   Arabia; trypanosomosis, near-       better water management                species that can be more effec-
                                   ing eradication in Zanzibar         schemes for sugar-beet and             tively and economically used
                                   and now targeted for elimina-       wheat.                                 for insect control campaigns
                                   tion in parts of Ethiopia.                                                 incorporating SIT.
                                                                       PEST CONTROL
                                   SOIL&WATER                          Through work of the IAEA’s             FOOD SAFETY
                                   About two-thirds of all river       Seibersdorf Laboratories, the          National laws and global trade
                                   water is used for agriculture,      radiation-based sterile insect         agreements require food to be
                                   and scientists are looking          technique (SIT) has become             free from contaminants that
                                   closely at how to achieve more      the bane of pests ravaging             provide unacceptable risks to
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997           with less. Through IAEA-sup-        crops and threatening animal           human health, and in more
and more cases, consumers also       IMPROVING CROPS                      1800 mutant varieties of crops
are demanding that the food          Known as plant or crop breed-        and plants have been devel-
they buy causes no undesirable       ers, scientists have tried since     oped, most of them using radi-
environmental effects. Taken         civilization began to develop        ation-based techniques.
together, these developments         and cultivate the world’s crops,
have intensified research to         numbering about 80,000 edi-          FOOD QUALITY
monitor food, water, and other       ble plants today. It’s a hard job:   Research over the past ten years
environmental materials for          after centuries of painstaking       has more firmly demonstrated
chemical contaminants                work, less than thirty species,      that the technology of irradia-
(including biotoxins), and in        but thousands of varieties, pro-     tion is safe and effective for
the case of food, pathogenic         vide nearly all the world’s food.    ensuring the hygienic quality of
microorganisms as well. Easy         Over the past decade, DNA            food, especially products such
to see is that the number of         probes and related molecular         as chicken, seafood, meat, and
analyses is enormous.                biological methods, combined         spices. Recent advances have
Conventional methods usually         with mutation techniques and         enabled its application as a
require expensive equipment          diagnostic radioactive isotopes,     quarantine treatment of fresh
and reagents, and they are time      particularly have quickened the      fruits and vegetables against
consuming. Now being more            pace through greater under-          insect pests; research was jointly
closely looked at is the use of      standing of plant variations.        sponsored by the IAEA, FAO,
immunoassays as screening            Laboratories in developing           and World Health
methods for organic contami-         countries are engaged in work        Organization. National and
nants, such as pesticides, which     through an FAO/IAEA pro-             international food regulatory
offer advantages in terms of         gramme that facilitates the          bodies have moved in the 1990s
costs and time for analyzing         transfer of DNA probes and           to endorse irradiation, issuing
large numbers of samples. But        methods. Advances in using           standards and policies govern-
the method holds disadvantages       radiation-based techniques also      ing its wider application. A
as well, and scientists involved     keep being recorded. One tech-       major breakthrough came in                               17
in IAEA-supported research are       nique now is used to develop         May 1996. The United States
examining technical factors          varieties of date palm resistant     Department of Agriculture
affecting potential applications,    to Bayoud disease in Algeria,        accepted irradiation as a quar-
as well as potential costs. In the   Morocco, and Tunisia where           antine treatment against fruit
case of pesticides, the cost of      fifteen million trees have been      flies in fruits and vegetables,
developing an assay is about         killed by the fungal pathogen.       enabling national trade from
$100,000. Nevertheless, kits for     As a result of research combin-      Hawaii to mainland states of
over thirty pesticides are now       ing induced mutations, con-          papaya, lychees, and other com-
commercially available that in       ventional breeding techniques,       modities. The action is height-
some cases show a cost saving        and biotechnology, new vari-         ening interest in the technology
of three hundred percent com-        eties of linseed, rapeseed, soy-     among developing countries
pared to one alternative             bean, and sunflower are              seeking expanded global mar-
method. Another potential            becoming commercially                kets for their products.
screening tool widely used in        important. Two new varieties         — Based on reports contributed
other fields, thin layer chro-       of linseed were registered in        by Raymond Nance, Paisan
matography, or TLC, is gaining       Canada in 1993 and 1995.             Loaharanu, Felipe Zapata,
a fresh look for monitoring pes-     Over recent decades world-           Martyn Jeggo, and other staff of
ticide residues from advances in     wide, scientists at the Agency’s     the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of
biotechnology. Methods have          Seibersdorf Laboratories have        Nuclear Techniques in Food and
been developed that adequately       irradiated about 22,000 sam-         Agriculture.
check if a foodstuff complies        ples of seeds, vegetative materi-
with international food safety       als, and in vitro cultures that
requirements, and scientists in      were sent to laboratories in         Photo: Scientists at the Soil
twelve countries now are evalu-      over 100 countries, including        Productivity Research Laboratory in
ating the methods under a            seeds used for molecular biol-       Marondera, Zimbabwe, work closely
newly started research project.      ogy research. Worldwide, over        with the IAEA in agricultural fields.   IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                                                                                             ity national and regional needs; pro-
                                                                                                             duce sizable economic and social
                                                                                                             impacts; employ nuclear technologies
                                                                                                             only when they have distinct advan-

BENEFITS HOME                                                                                                tages over others; and attract strong
                                                                                                             governmental commitment. As such,
                                                                                                             they stimulate a “problem solving”

        ountries in the developing                              a Standing Advisory Group on                 approach, and a very intensive dia-
        world have received almost US                           Technical Assistance and Cooperation         logue between the Agency and gov-
        $800 million in IAEA techni-                            was formed with representatives from         ernmental partners, so that the pro-
cal support over the past forty years. In                       Member States, to help ensure that           jects reach well beyond the counterpart
1958, technical programmes aimed at                             new targets are met.                         institutions to beneficiary communi-
building national capacity in nuclear                               Becoming a partner in national           ties and their citizens.
science and technology were carried                             development is a new thrust of the               The Agency has launched several
out in forty-two countries. By the end                          IAEA’s technical cooperation pro-            broader policy initiatives to better coor-
of 1996, new and more targeted pro-                             gramme. But the Agency is not a              dinate the uses and applications of
grammes reached ninety-five countries.                          “development” organization, and it           nuclear technologies for greater eco-
These activities — all financed from                            has no related field offices or large pool   nomic and social impacts. In years to
voluntary contributions of Member                               of funds. Its traditional role has been      come, the Model Project approach will
States — are now increasingly aimed to                          catalytic — in areas of research, devel-     be expanded through “Country
produce greater social and economic                             opment, and demonstration of                 Programme Frameworks” that identify
benefits for the farmer and environ-                            nuclear-based “solutions”. Expanding         priority activities in each developing
mentalist, physician and patient and                            these benefits beyond the demonstra-         Member State, and “thematic plan-
other end users of nuclear science and                          tion phase requires funds, project           ning” that singles out the most signif-
technologies. The challenge of redefin-                         management, and operational support          icant technical solutions for duplication
ing the Agency’s strategy for technical                         that exceed the Agency’s traditional         across several countries. These new
cooperation was set in motion in 1994                           resources. “Partners in Development”         mechanisms will ensure that IAEA
by a Policy Review Seminar of Member                            is the new term for the process of con-      development partnerships are focused
States. The focus was on three themes:                          necting technology to the end users,         on where they can produce the great-
strengthening radiation protection and                          and the active engagement of a               est benefits. The first thematic plan
waste management infrastructures; the                           broader community of interests. A            now becoming operational is in radi-
need for systematic country planning;                           new generation of “Model Projects”           ation protection — meeting the
and increasing the impact of IAEA                               launched over the past decade repre-         Agency’s Safety Standards that are a
technical cooperation by reaching the                           sent the wave of the future. They must       statutory pre-condition for all activities
technology’s end users. For guidance,                           meet tough criteria: respond to prior-       involving ionizing radiation. Signi-
                                                                                                             ficantly, one of every three Model
                                                                                                             Projects proposed for 1997-98 reflect

                                                                     2.01 was the amount 12-year-old         radiation safety priorities.
                                                                     Joseph Santore and his friends             In some countries, the combination
               Millions US $
  80                                                                 gave the IAEA back in 1958, to          of increased investment, demonstrated
                                                               help kick off contributions for the           technology, and a more vibrant com-
  60                                                           Agency’s technical cooperation work.          mercial sector is moving the develop-
                                                               Today’s resources top $60 million in          ment process forward quickly; in many
  40                                                           support of over one thousand                  others, it will take more time. The past
                                                               projects. Yet the challenge remains to        decade has seen the IAEA better posi-
  20                                                           effectively fund activities, and the          tion itself to meet the needs of its
                                                               1990s saw some hills and valleys that         Member States, regardless of their level
   1980          1985          1990          1996
                                                               negatively affected programmes. The           of development or technological
   IAEA Technical Co-operation    In-kind contributions from   Agency and its Member States are              sophistication.
   Fund                           IAEA Member States
   UNDP                           Extrabudgetary donations
                                                               looking closely at trends and ways to         —Based on reports by Mr. Qian Jihui,
                                                               maximize efficiency and stabilize             IAEA Deputy Director General for
                                                               available resources.                          Technical Cooperation, and Royal F.
                                                                                                             Kastens of the Department.
                                                                             fronted on local, national, and
SUSTAINING                                                                   regional levels in more and

                                                                             more countries. Work has cor-
                                                                             respondingly intensified over
                                                                             the past decade to sharpen
                                                                             capabilities for assessing, moni-
LIFELINES                                                                    toring, and preserving water
                                                                             resources with the tools of iso-
                                                                             tope hydrology. Central aims
                                                                             have been to assist water
                                                                             authorities in using these tech-
                                                                             niques to improve the effi-
                                                                             ciency of water use, identify
                                                                             and prevent sources of pollu-
                                                                             tion, and map the birth and life
                                                                             expectancy of groundwater
                                                                             resources. Some 150 technical
                                                                             cooperation projects totalling
                                                                             $19 million were put into
                                                                             action over the past decade to
                                                                             assist altogether sixty-three
                                                                             countries in water-related areas.
                                                                             In the process, more than 550
                                                                             young scientists have been
                                                                             trained to apply isotopes in
                                                                             investigations to improve the
                                                                             management of water and                              19
                                                                             other natural resources in these
                                                                             countries. At the same time,
                                                                             countries have renewed their
                                                                             interest in technologies for pro-
                                                                             ducing more water, specifically
                                                                             in the use of nuclear energy for
                                                                             desalting seawater, an old
                                                                             atomic dream that is nearing
                                                                             tests of the marketplace again.
                                                                             (See box, next page.)

        aces around the world vis-
        ibly frame the imperative
        of sustaining our freshwa-
ter resources:
                                           Behind the numbers are spe-
                                        cial problems in growing popu-
                                        lation and industrial areas.
                                        There, pressures on resources
                                                                             A       large part of the earth’s
                                                                                     water resources is not
                                                                                     safe, clean or renewable,
                                                                             and finding new reserves is
                                                                             costly. Often, the technology is
q More than one in four peo-            are mounting, and freshwater         not yet at hand to economically
ple still lacks clean water supplies.   often has to be transported          exploit potential resources
q On a global scale, the rate           from dammed reservoirs far           locked deep inside the earth’s
at which we are withdrawing             away, or carried in vessels from     crust. Experts say that greater
freshwater resources is more            distant wells. In many areas,        steps are needed to conserve
than double the rate of popula-         local rivers and groundwater are     and use water more efficiently,
tion growth.                            new homes of chemical and
q Nearly seventy percent of all         other sources of pollution.
                                                                             Photos: Children at an old well in
freshwater is used for the rising          For the IAEA’s technical sup-
                                                                             Guatemala. (Marshall/IAEA).
demands of food production.             port cadre, the realities are con-                                        IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                                                                                              competitive with those of alter-
                            FRESHWATER                                                                        native desalination systems using
                                                                                                              other sources of energy supply.

                            FROM THE SEA                                                                         Through IAEA programmes,
                                                                                                              more than twenty countries are
                                                                                                              involved in assessments of the
                                                                                                              technology’s potential. One
                            WORLDWIDE WATER CONSUMPTION                                                       study focused on North Africa,
                            Cubic kilometres per year                                                         analyzing needs and possibilities
                                                                                                              in Algeria, Egypt, Libya,
                              6000                                                                            Morocco, and Tunisia. Analysts
                                                                                                              found that nuclear seawater
                              5000                                                                            desalination could be a techni-
                                                                                                              cally and economically feasible
                              4000                                                                            option. In the mid-1990s, efforts
                                                                                                              intensified to more closely look
                              3000                                                                            at the economic competitiveness
                                                                                                              of systems. Many desalination
                              2000                                                                            and reactor systems were
                                                                                                              screened, leading to identifica-
                              1000                                                                            tion of three practical options
                                                                                                              for demonstration plants.
                                0                                                                                Future cooperative projects
                                 1900          1920        1940           1960         1980         2000      now are planned in countries
                                        Reservior losses   Municipal     Industry    Agriculture              including China, India, the
                                                                                                              Russian Federation, and the

                                   conomics are changing —             power plants that produce the          Republic of Korea, which
                                   water is an increasingly            electricity for the energy-intensive   recently hosted an international
                                   expensive commodity —               process of desalting seawater. The     symposium that reviewed the
                            and the technology is advancing            idea is not new: nuclear desali-       latest technological and eco-
                            rapidly. As water needs mount              nation was explored decades ago,       nomic developments in the
                            in large regions of the world,             and demonstrated in Japan and          context of water needs. Large-
                            experts over the past decade have          Kazakhstan. But for the wider          scale use is some years away, but
                            started looking more closely at            water marketplace, it was too          more demonstration plants for
                            systems to tap abundant oceans             expensive. The method still is         desalting seawater may soon line
                            and seas. Among the candidates             costly, but the gap is closing.        shores.— Based on report by
                            are facilities coupled to nuclear          Costs generally have become            Toshio Konishi.

                           and IAEA-supported research                 longstanding network of moni-          lead to greater understanding
                           is leading to some solutions in             toring stations the IAEA runs          of how earth’s dynamic cycles
                           agricultural fields. (See report            with the World Meteorological          recreate and renew our water
                           on page 16.)                                Organization collects key data         supplies.
                              Other water-saving measures              on the isotope content of rain-          Strides have been made to
                           include improving irrigation                water. They are used for               bring water to more people. By
                           techniques and preventing                   regional and global circulation        1997, the world’s collective
                           water losses as high as forty               models. Analysts can investi-          efforts in the 1990s had given
                           percent from transportation,                gate how the earth’s changing          nearly 800 million more peo-
                           distribution, and storage sys-              climate affects the sustainabil-       ple access to safe drinking
                           tems. At the core of solutions              ity of our water resources. The        water. — Lothar Wedekind,
                           stands our knowledge of earth’s             pioneering databank today              based on reports by Yuecel
                           water cycle, and how freshwa-               serves as a global reservoir of        Yurtsever, David Fischer, and
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   ter resources are renewed. A                pooled knowledge that can              Royal Kastens.
        oble and all too needed,     the developing world’s citizens     assessment of nutritional defi-
        the goal of “health for      could be concentrated in urban      ciencies in women and chil-
        all” into the next century   areas when this decade closes.      dren, the timely detection of
has driven the medical profes-       Undeniable interconnections         communicable diseases, and
sion to new heights throughout       between political, social, and      the accurate measurement of
the past decade. In its latest       economic conditions, and the        radiation doses to patients.
global status report, the World      state of our health, emerged           The upswing in demands and
Health Organization reports          magnified from the decade.          related programme adjustments
significant progress in cam-            The fast-developing picture      are opening new windows of
paigns against a body of major       accelerated the need to find        opportunity for better health
human diseases — including           out more about the detection,       care through nuclear applica-
smallpox, polio, leprosy, and the    prevention, and treatment of        tions in more countries. They
disabling Chagas disease.            diseases. More countries turned     also identified new doors that
   But changing patterns of          to the IAEA’s expertise and         must be unlocked to sustain
how and where we live have           specialized health and analyti-     progress.
brought other, in some ways          cal services. IAEA health-          q Diagnosis and treatment of
more troubling, challenges to        related projects today number       cancer has advanced consider-
national and global health           175, up seventy-five percent        ably over the past decades. In                     21
agendas. Many problems are           over the past fifteen years. The    industrialized countries, “cure”
attributed to negative ripple        investment is valued at nearly      rates have doubled since the
effects of urbanization —            $48 million over that period        IAEA was formed in the
overcrowded cities, polluted         for improving national health-      1950s, achievements generally
air and water, poor and unsafe       care capabilities at hospitals,     attributed to earlier and better
living conditions, and strained      clinics, and laboratory facili-     diagnostic screening and to
health resources, especially for     ties. By the mid-1990s, most        advances in surgery, radiation,
preventive care. Cancer              of the Agency’s 125 Member          and chemotherapy treatments.
became a serious and more            States had set up medical pro-      In developing countries, how-
visible problem in developing        grammes involving uses of           ever, more help is needed as
countries. So, too, did “hid-        nuclear tools, ranging from         cancer takes a stronger hold.
den hunger”, or malnutrition,        radiopharmaceuticals, to            With national research teams,
particularly in children; ill-       nuclear analytical techniques,      the IAEA is coordinating clini-
nesses linked to food contam-        imaging systems, and radio-         cal trials in radiotherapy to
ination; deaths from re-             therapy.                            improve treatment and control
emerging infectious diseases            Especially in the 1990s the      of the disease. New treatment
such as malaria; and sickness        Agency’s programmes in              centres also are being support-
caused by health dangers in          human health have adjusted to       ed. In Mongolia, nearly 2400
our environment.                     better fit the changing needs       patients were treated at a new
   At the start of the 1990s,        and conditions. Outreach            teletherapy centre within its
more than 600 million men,           efforts were broadened and          first five months. In Ghana,
women, and children lived in         objectives finetuned for specific   the first of three planned
large cities in developing coun-     problems that can best be met       radiotherapy centres now
tries that are threatened by lack    by nuclear techniques. Among        serves cancer patients who oth-
of food, water, and adequate         them stand the early diagnosis      erwise had to seek expensive
health care. More than half of       and treatment of cancer, the        treatment overseas, or go with-    IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                                                                                   about the causes and health
                                                                                                   effects of environmental pollu-
                                                                                                   tants contaminating our air,
                                                                                                   water, and food. Over the past
                                                                                                   decade, more than forty coun-
                                                                                                   tries have intensified coopera-
                                                                                                   tive research and analysis of
                                                                                                   non-radioactive pollutants,
                                                                                                   including mercury and pesti-
                                                                                                   cide residues, through Agency
                                                                                                   programmes. Air pollution,
                                                                                                   particularly fine particles, has
                                                                                                   drawn close attention, since
                                                                                                   particulates can settle deep in
                                                                                                   lungs, potentially causing seri-
                                                                                                   ous illness or death. Findings
                                                                                                   add to valuable data shared
                                                                                                   through an established global
                                                                                                   network of centres that collects
                                                                                                   and analyzes airborne samples.
                           out it. To evaluate radiation      Most at risk are women and           The work helps health and
                           treatments against global stan-    children living in poverty.          environmental authorities
                           dards, a joint IAEA/WHO            Though nuclear-based tech-           more effectively identify and
                           programme has expanded its         niques are no substitute for         monitor pollutants as part of
                           network of services.               nutritional deficiencies, they do    health protection measures.
                           q In Thailand, Uruguay, and        support improved health moni-        q In different ways, other
   22                      other countries of Asia, Latin     toring and research pro-             types of radiation technologies
                           America, and Africa, commu-        grammes to uncover and pre-          are being used to remove pol-
                           nities need help for potentially   vent cases of hidden hunger.         lutants from industrial emis-
                           crippling children’s health        Joining with global partners,        sions before they enter the
                           problems. Some notable strides     IAEA-sponsored research and          atmosphere. One method,
                           are linked to greater use of       field projects now extend to         known as electron beam pro-
                           highly sensitive nuclear tech-     more than thirty countries. The      cessing, gained ground over
                           niques, sometimes teamed           work has identified improve-         the past decade through
                           with biomedical methods.           ments to the dietary treatment       demonstrations in several
                           Their reliable and affordable      of severely malnourished chil-       countries with Agency sup-
                           application now is supporting      dren and alerted health practi-      port. In Poland, an industrial-
                           effective national screening       tioners to specific diet deficien-   scale demonstration plant for
                           programmes of all-too-com-         cies of protein, vitamins, zinc,     removing sulphur dioxide and
                           mon thyroid deficiencies in        iron, and iodine needed for          nitrogen oxide — causes of
                           newborn babies and children.       proper nourishment and               “acid rain” and linked to respi-
                           q Because its effects are too      growth. As importantly, it has       ratory diseases — from emis-
                           often masked and overlooked,       led to stronger public health        sions at coal-burning power
                           “hidden hunger”, or malnutri-      programmes in more countries,        plants. Demonstrated costs of
                           tion, can take on serious pro-     including Chile, Sri Lanka, and      the cleaning process are lower
                           portions. By the mid-1990s,        Venezuela, for setting nationally    than conventional systems.
                           health experts reported that       recommended nutritional              Other countries now interested
                           nearly 800 million people in       requirements. Now planned is         include Brazil, Bulgaria,
                           developing countries were          distribution of a “toolkit” of       China, and Mexico.
                           chronically undernourished.        proven isotope techniques that       q Alarming reports of food
                                                              countries can readily use in         contamination over the past
                           Photo: Children in Viet Nam.       their nutrition programmes.          decade became a driving force
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   (Tuong Linh for UNESCO/ACCU)       q More needs to be known             for greater interest in the tech-
                                                                      other tissues needed to treat
                                                                      severely injured patients such
                                                                      as burn victims. The bank is
                                                                      intended to serve health needs
                                                                      throughout the region.
                                                                        Sri Lanka’s facility reflects
                                                                      heightened interest among
                                                                      more countries in radiation
                                                                      sterilization of medical prod-
                                                                      ucts for hygienic and safety
                                                                      reasons. By the mid-1990s, the
                                                                      technology had become the
                                                                      preferred method to sterilize
                                                                      about half of all the disposable
                                                                      needles, scalpels, and other
                                                                      medical supplies used in hospi-
                                                                      tals, clinics, and medical cen-
                                                                      tres around the world.

                                                                             hrough these and other
nology of food irradiation.       Latin America, malaria in                  avenues, vital progress is
Foodborne illnesses traced to     Africa, and tuberculosis in                being made to more
contaminated poultry and          other regions are among dis-        strongly arm countries against
meats led the United States to    eases under study.                  emerging and re-emerging
approve food irradiation’s com-      Progress is important: the re-   dangers to human health. In
mercial use for the products,     emerging threat of malaria, for     key applications, nuclear and
since the technology cleans       instance, still is known to         related techniques can give                            23
them of contaminating             strike more than 300 million        doctors unparalleled insights
microorganisms. At the inter-     people in 103 countries and         into what is happening in the
national level, Golden Rule #1    claimed the lives of one million    human body without the need
of the World Health               children alone in 1995.             for incisions or surgery. Other
Organization’s ten-point food     Against Chagas disease, the         tools enable researchers to
safety advisory issued in the     fight is gaining ground: WHO        track and analyze causes and
1990s encourages consumers        reports that ongoing efforts in     sources of potential health haz-
to choose poultry treated with    Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil,         ards, so that steps can be taken
ionizing radiation whenever       Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay        to prevent them. In no small
they can.                         soon will eliminate the disease.    measure, the work is helping to
q Medical research laborato-      q In Asia, eye surgeons have        extend the reach of key med-
ries worldwide continue to be     long been served by Sri Lanka’s     ical technologies, to bring into
tested by new and resurging       eye bank. More than 10,000          closer view the global vision of
infectious diseases. In Latin     Sri Lankans have regained their     health for all.
America and Africa, IAEA-         vision with the bank’s help,        — Lothar Wedekind, based on
supported work initiated over     and surgeons in sixty countries     reports by Ms.Jordanka
the past decade aims to           have received tens of thousands     Mircheva, Robert Parr, Ms.
improve diagnostic capabili-      of corneas needed by their          Carla Fjeld, John Castelino,
ties. Researchers are being       patients. With the IAEA’s assis-    Vitomir Markovic, G.
trained in the use of biomed-     tance through a regional pro-       Ghopinathan Nair, David
ical techniques, including        ject of thirteen Asian countries    Kinley, and Paisan Loaharanu.
radioactive DNA probes, for       over the past decade, such
more effectively diagnosing       medical services are expanding.     Photo: Patients being helped at the
communicable diseases, as a       They include a new medical          National Cancer Institute in Bogotâ.
step to help control them.        bank in Colombo that sterilizes     (Perez-Vargas/IAEA)
Chagas disease in parts of        membranes, tendons, and                                                    IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                                                                                 health teams of the
                                                                                                 International Chernobyl
                                                                                                 Project in mid-1990 included
                                                                                                 one hundred physicians and
                                                                                                 scientists from twelve countries
                                                                                                 that closely looked at only spe-
                                                                                                 cific groups of people living in
                                                                                                 affected areas of Belarus,
                                                                                                 Russia, and Ukraine. Key tech-
                                                                                                 nical and medical monitoring
                                                                                                 support came from experts of
                                                                                                 the Agency’s radiation safety
                                                                                                 and dosimetry services at IAEA
                                                                                                 headquarters in Vienna and at
                                                                                                 its Seibersdorf Laboratories.
                                                                                                 The health teams found signif-
                                                                                                 icant health disorders, most of
                                                                                                 them not related to radiation
                                                                                                 exposure directly but to other
                                                                                                 social, economic, and environ-
                                                                                                 mental factors. Roughly nine
                                                                                                 of every ten people living in
                                                                                                 contaminated settlements —
                                                                                                 and about seven of ten living
                                                                                                 in uncontaminated villages —
                                                                                                 thought they had, or might
   24                                                                                            have, an illness due to radia-

                                   ealth affects attributed   collecting and analyzing earth,    tion exposure, even though
                                   to radioactive fallout     food, water, and other samples     medical examinations found
                                   from the tragic            to monitor and assess the          they did not. The finding
                           Chernobyl nuclear plant acci-      health and environmental           focused greater attention on
                           dent in April 1986 com-            impact of the fallout beyond       psychological health issues
                           manded keen attention over         the former USSR’s borders.         raised by the accident. Teams
                           the past decade, among the         Seibersdorf analytical teams       spent most of their time with
                           public and scientific commu-       proved instrumental in coordi-     children, and found cause for
                           nities alike. Key studies were     nating and supporting cam-         real concern. Their detailed
                           done to help clarify a contro-     paigns in parts of Austria and     but limited examinations did
                           versial picture greatly shaped     neighbouring countries.            not rule out the chance that
                           by public fears and perceptions    Monaco’s tracking teams found      cases of thyroid cancer linked
                           about the potential dangers of     that sinking ocean particles       to high radiation exposure
                           radiation exposure. Radio-         had taken Chernobyl radioac-       would rise in the future.
                           active fallout from the accident   tivity rapidly to depths of two

                           was mainly concentrated in         hundred meters along the              n 1996, about five years
                           Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine,      Mediterranean coastline within        later and ten years after the
                           but it also came down at low       a month of the accident.              accident, more than 800
                           concentrations over much of                                           experts from seventy-one

                           the Northern Hemisphere.               n the 1990s, the IAEA co-      countries and twenty organiza-
                           Within weeks of the explosion,         sponsored two projects with    tions reassessed the picture,
                           scientists working through the         the World Health               from health, environmental,
                           IAEA’s laboratories at             Organization and other global      and other perspectives. The
                           Seibersdorf, Austria, and at its   partners that included scien-      venue was a major scientific
                           Marine Environment                 tific assessments of Chernobyl’s   conference in Vienna co-spon-
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   Laboratory in Monaco were          radiological health effects. The   sored by six organizations of
the UN family, including the       cant cases of anxiety, depres-      nearly forty scientists in nine-
IAEA, and two regional agen-       sion, and other illnesses among     teen countries who prepared
cies. The landmark event           affected populations. These         comprehensive guidelines in
served to consolidate an inter-    health effects, not caused by       1994 of effective measures that
national consensus on the acci-    radiation exposure, were more       have been demonstrated and
dent’s consequences, report        generally related to other fac-     put into place. Additionally in
proven scientific facts, and       tors, notably the Soviet Union’s    1994, combined efforts of the
clarify technical information      dissolution and sudden eco-         IAEA, WHO, FAO and other
and prognoses that could be,       nomic and political changes.        organizations led to interna-
and have been, misunderstood.                                          tional guidelines that clarify

The major health findings                 he accident’s immediate      the problem of when authori-
addressed both short- and                 victims were among the       ties should intervene and take
long-term effects.                        emergency workers, who       protective measures for public
   Regarding radiation-related     were exposed to high doses of       health and safety in a radiolog-
thyroid cancers, the experts       radiation. Altogether 237           ical emergency. The interven-
reported a sharp increase          workers were admitted to hos-       tion criteria are important,
among children from the            pitals and 134 were diagnosed       since they help to maintain
affected areas. By the end of      with acute radiation syndrome.      credibility and confidence in
1995, three children had died      Of these, 28 died within the        decisions and prevent the kind
of the cancer, and about 800       first three months, and at least    of problems arising after the
cases had been diagnosed in        fourteen additional patients        Chernobyl accident. Then,
children under 15 years of age,    have died since 1986, not nec-      neighbouring countries set
living mainly in northern          essarily due to radiation expo-     varying standards for foods
Ukraine and Belarus. These         sure. Two other people died in      that confused the public and
effects have been the only         the explosion, and one from         disrupted trade.
major public health impact         presumed heart failure.

from radiation exposure docu-                                                  roader issues related to

mented to date. In the future,        n affected areas, severe envi-           radiation health effects,
thyroid cancers might arise in        ronmental impacts were                   and how the public
several thousand adults who           short term because of rapid      hears and learns about them,
were young children at the         radioactive decay, and no sus-      commanded attention in 1994
time they were exposed to radi-    tained impacts on people or         in France, where four hundred
ation from the accident.           ecosystems have been                policymakers, journalists, and
Experts recommended contin-        observed. Environmental mon-        nuclear experts from over fifty
ued monitoring of these            itoring continues, and it’s         countries met at an IAEA-
affected groups to detect early    expected that low-level             sponsored conference. Among
signs. They noted that thyroid     radioactive contamination of        problems addressed were the
cancers generally can be suc-      lands will persist for decades.     public’s understanding of radi-
cessfully treated surgically and   Over the past decade, much          ation’s actual and perceived
by medication.                     work has been directed              health and environmental
   Long-term health effects        through IAEA and other global       risks, a problem linked closely
from Chernobyl radiation           channels toward protecting          to how well scientists and the
exposure had not been detected     people living in these areas and    media communicate the facts
by 1996, although they could       rehabilitating affected lands.      about radiation.— Lothar
not be ruled out for the future.   They include radiation protec-      Wedekind, based on IAEA docu-
Experts urged close monitoring     tion measures; medical moni-        ments and reports by John
of cancer registries and further   toring systems; and agricultural    Richards, Abel Gonzalez, Franz-
investigations to determine        countermeasures to lower the        Nikolaus Flakus, Malcolm
ongoing public health impacts      radioactive content in milk         Crick, and David Kinley.
and to confirm predictions.        and other food products to
Regarding psychological health     acceptable levels. Through its      Photo: “Let there always be sunshine”,
disorders and symptoms, the        joint work with the FAO, the        a painting by schoolchildren in Kiev
conference confirmed signifi-      IAEA sponsored work by              done after the accident.                 IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                  he world’s drive toward     These changes opened the           reactors, managing growing
                                  safer and cleaner devel-    window to energy, environ-         stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel,
                                  opment overcame some        mental, and safety problems        and comparing overall energy
                           big hurdles during the past ten    in countries of the former         and electricity options under
                           years, only to see more chal-      Soviet bloc.                       particular conditions.
                           lenges arise. One major ques-         The overriding message on       q Technical assistance and
                           tion echoed ever louder: how       all these fronts: some impor-      research projects targeted to
                           will governments decide to fuel    tant progress has been made,       help more countries establish
                           and engineer the drive into the    but not enough to celebrate        and upgrade their regulatory
                           next century?                      yet. In the political, environ-    infrastructure for the safe uses
                              The echo resounded from         mental, and economic flux,         of nuclear and radiation tech-
                           some events taking place           ensuring sustainable develop-      nologies, and to improve waste
                           twenty-five years ago. Then,       ment will not be easy, quick,      management capabilities in all
                           the international human envi-      or cheap.                          fields.
                           ronment conference in                 At the IAEA, the far-reach-     q Scientific support of assess-
                           Stockholm brought many             ing demands became the back-       ments associated with “histori-
                           “green” issues out of scientific   drop for laying a stronger legal   cal” radioactive wastes from
  26                       laboratories, and the first oil    and technical foundation to        past nuclear practices, and of
                           shocks jolted and jaded energy     support safe, clean, and com-      customized applications of
                           development prospects. In the      petitive nuclear energy devel-     nuclear-based techniques in
                           1990s, the complex set of chal-    opment for countries using or      investigations of climate
                           lenges seemed to merge on the      thinking of using that option.     change, environmental pollu-
                           global conference stage: rising    Countries also sought to           tion, and marine ecological
                           electricity demands in Helsinki    demonstrate more clearly how       threats. (See box, page 37.)
                           in 1991; stark environmental       the whole range of nuclear

                           threats in Rio de Janeiro at the   technologies can help solve               s the decade opened in
                           1992 Earth Summit; world           specific energy and environ-              1986, twenty-six coun-
                           population growth rates in         mental problems. Major plat-              tries were getting ready
                           Cairo in 1994; problems of         forms built for the new foun-      to mark a milestone of nuclear
                           over-crowded megacities in         dation include:                    power experience: their 397
                           Istanbul and hunger in Rome        q A strengthened and more          electricity-generating plants
                           in 1996; and the Earth             integrated global safety regime    collectively neared four thou-
                           Summit revisited in New York       for key areas of nuclear power,    sand years of commercial oper-
                           in 1997. Ahead in Kyoto in         radiation applications, and        ation. The Chernobyl accident
                           early December 1997 is the         radioactive waste management.      in April changed everything,
                           complex topic of global warm-      It covers new legal agreements     and ushered in trying times at
                           ing. Governments want a            and strengthened safety ser-       the IAEA. Within five months
                           global treaty on climate           vices. (See box, page 31.)
                           change and will meet to            q More specialized technical       Photo: A climb to the top at Bugey
                           debate its provisions.             support to countries for achiev-   plant in France, where most house-
                              Hovering above it all have      ing better nuclear power plant     holds, businesses, and industries rely on
                           been the dramatic political        performance, upgrading or dis-     electricity produced by nuclear energy
                           changes in Europe after the        mantling older plants, develop-    plants. (Credit: Setboun/Rapho
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   breakup of the Soviet Union.       ing advanced types of power        Agence de Press Photographique)
of the accident, States working
under the international spot-
light at the Agency issued their
first responses: they negotiated
and adopted two new global
legal agreements on nuclear
safety, delivered the first
authoritative account of the
accident, and set in motion
plans for expanded safety ser-
vices and assistance.
Throughout the decade, the
legal and technical safety
regime was reinforced, and
today more new elements still
are being considered. Just as
important, social, health, food,
environmental, and nuclear
scientists joined together to
clarify the actual and potential
consequences of the Chernobyl
accident. (See page 24.)
   For nuclear power develop-
ment, the technical impact of
the accident — affecting essen-
tially a small group of Soviet-
designed plants operating in
only a few countries —
extended, like its fallout, well
beyond national borders.
Lessons learned magnified the
imperative of securing an
industry-wide “safety culture”.
Steps to reinforce the safety net
quickly gained momentum for
business and environmental
reasons, and to help win back
public support lost in many
countries. A few industries and
governments sought to phase
out their nuclear power pro-
grammes, while others sus-
pended or postponed construc-
tion and planned projects. On
                                                                                                         enable prediction and identifi-

                           HOW SERIOUS?                                                                  cation of the impacts of climate
                                                                                                            Long-term studies also are

                                     ssessing the seriousness of      The issue is complex, and          tracking how carbon moves and
                                     global warming threats —       projections harbour consider-        sinks in oceans, seas, and lakes.
                                     and evaluating existing        able uncertainties. To under-        From their laboratories in
                            and potential responses — has           stand more fully and quantify        Monaco, IAEA scientists over
                            challenged scientists for years. By     the changing climate picture,        the past decade intensified work
                            the mid-1990s, an international         scientists need extensive data       to investigate the transfer of car-
                            scientific consensus had emerged:       and powerful analytical tools        bon from its source to ocean
                            the 2500 experts taking part in         and models. Among them are           depths, work which combines
                            studies of the International Panel      isotopic techniques. Using           collection and analysis of sink-
                            on Climate Change (IPCC)                them, scientists examine histor-     ing marine particles with iso-
                            issued a report with a guarded          ical records by taking measure-      tope studies.
                            but direct message: if energy           ments of ice cores, ancient             In support of research, the
                            technologies remain unchanged           groundwater, lake deposits and       World Meteorological Organi-
                            and demand increases substan-           sediments, and estimate the          zation (WMO) in Geneva and
                            tially, average temperatures might      impact of human activities from      the IAEA operate a global net-
                            rise between one and 3.5 degrees        the results. This information        work for tracking and analysis of
                            Centigrade over the next century.       supports forecasting potential       key isotopes in precipitation. By
                            This could cause sea levels to rise     effects on forest ecosystems,        the mid-1990s, the network
                            fifty centimeters, with ensuing         desertification, and water           contained data from more than
                            flooding of coastal lowlands and        resources, as well as the possi-     450 locations worldwide.
                            tropical islands, an increase in        ble occurrence of floods and

                            weather extremes, and damage            droughts. Isotope methods also              ther IAEA-supported
   28                       to forests and croplands. The           prove essential for determining             programmes enlist ex-
                            IPCC outlook has been chal-             precisely the atmospheric bud-              perts in joint evaluations
                            lenged, but has not been                get of greenhouse gases, espe-       of responses to the threat of
                            changed.                                cially their sources and sinks, to   global warming, often provid-

                           record, most governments took           countries than ever are generat-      energy demand would grow
                           a longer, qualified view, staying       ing one-quarter or more of            rapidly into the next century.
                           in favour of nuclear’s safe             their total electricity using         Analysts said growth would be
                           expansion or of steps to keep           nuclear power — seventeen             fastest in developing countries
                           the option open.                        States in 1996, seven more            in order to keep up with rising
                                                                   than ten years ago (among             populations and economic

                                  y the mid-1990s, the             them Newly Independent                growth. Over the longer run,
                                  future of nuclear power          States). By 1997, more than           energy demand could climb
                                  looked dimmer. But               440 nuclear plants were on line       anywhere between fifty and
                           lights were still on — a good           in thirty-one countries. They         seventy-five percent in the next
                           share of them literally powered         collectively produced about           twenty-five years, according to
                           by nuclear energy. About five           fifty percent more electricity        the World Energy Council.
                           new nuclear plants per year —           than the Soviet Union pro-            Any rate of growth will stay
                           forty-seven altogether — have           duced from all sources ten            closely tied to fossil fuel com-
                           come on line since 1986, based          years ago.                            bustion. In 1997, these fuels
                           on reports to the Agency’s                                                    continue to provide nearly

                           database. Nuclear’s share of                   een by forecasters, the        eighty-five percent of all com-
                           total electricity worldwide has                overall energy picture         mercial energy used. When
                           held steady, rising only slightly              looked daunting as the         burned to generate electricity,
                           in the 1990s to reach seventeen         years passed. By 1997, projec-        fossil fuels also release carbon
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   percent by 1997. Today, more            tions indicated that world            dioxide and other greenhouse
                                                                          1995, or roughly as much as
   AVOIDANCE OF CO2 EMISSIONS BY                                          hydropower helped avoid.
      Avoidance of Global CO2 by Nuclear                                     In addition to nuclear, IAEA
              and Hydropower
                                                                          projects help develop other
        % of global CO2 avoided                                           “clean” energy sources such as
                                                                          geothermal energy. In countries
                                                                          like El Salvador and the
  15                                                                      Philippines, Agency-sponsored
                                                                          projects have helped to evalu-
                                                  Nuclear power           ate and further develop geo-
  10                                                                      thermal resources. Nuclear ana-
                                                                          lytical techniques helped to reli-
                                                                          ably assess temperature and
    5                                              Hydropower             fluid flows deep inside El
                                                                          Salvador’s old volcanoes, and to
                                                                          identify potential new fields for
   1965        1970     1975      1980     1985       1990        1995    development. Data can help
                                                                          save millions of dollars in
                                                                          drilling costs and lead to other
ing them with customized com-        using nuclear and hydropower         savings. Geothermal production
puter-based tools for analysis.      extensively than in countries        in El Salvador is already
A multi-agency project called        burning large amounts of coal        expected to cut oil import costs
Decades was started in the           for electricity generation.          by about $9 million.
1990s to support comparative         Globally, nuclear power gener-
assessments of energy options,       ates about seventeen percent of      — Based on reports by Klaus
specifically for generating elec-    the world’s electricity. That pro-   Froehlich, Ms. Lucille Langlois,
tricity. Results of comparative      duction has helped countries         Ms. Jane Gerardo-Abaya, Florin                       29
studies reported over the past       avoid a good share of carbon         Vladu, David Kinley, and
decade show far lower emissions      dioxide emissions, about eight       Murdoch Baxter.
of carbon dioxide in countries       percent of the world’s total in

gases into the atmosphere. Less      and economic growth go hand-          with the necessary expertise
than fifteen percent of total        in-hand, even as conservation         and operational experience. In
energy comes from carbon-free        and other efficiency measures         countries with emerging mar-
hydropower and nuclear               have worked to hold down              ket-oriented economies, the
power, the two main alterna-         overall energy growth rates.          pocketbook became a problem:
tive options. At present, only          As the decade moved on,            financing the monthly earnings
about one percent of all energy      other changes materialized to         of highly trained nuclear plant
used comes from solar and            affect energy trends, including       staff raised energy and safety
other renewable sources. As          those of nuclear power. In            concerns transcending national
environmental issues and             some industrialized countries,        boundaries.
notably global warming com-          “least-cost” generation options          Worldwide, nuclear industries
mand closer watch, more peo-         became more important in              were nearing another milestone
ple wonder what is in store,         increasingly deregulated elec-        by the mid-1990s: collectively,
and what can be done today.          tricity markets. One result was       their plants approached eight
(See box above.)                     greater political and economic        thousand combined years of
   In the energy marketplace of      pressures on nuclear plant per-       nuclear operating experience.
the past ten years, political and    formance. In other countries,           In developing countries,
economic changes have been           confronted with leaner times, a       trends in nuclear development
influencing directions and           central challenge for the             stayed mixed. Some States, as
thinking, too. Studies still find    nuclear industry became pre-          those in Asia, invested heavily
that electricity consumption         serving a cadre of personnel          in nuclear-fueled plants to free    IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                    NUCLEAR SHARE OF ELECTRICITY GENERA-                                                                   shortage of generating capacity
                                    TION, percentage as of January 1997                                                                    in developing countries per-
                           Lithuania                                                                                                83.4
                                                                                                                                           sists, and financing any energy
                              France                                                                                         77.4          project, particularly capital-
                            Belgium                                                                            57.2
                             Sweden                                                                     52.4                               intensive nuclear projects,
                     Slovak Republic                                                             44.5
                         Switzerland                                                             44.5                                      remains a stiff challenge. About
                                                                                                                                           seven of every ten households
                            Hungary                                                         40.8                                           in the developing world have
                            Slovenia                                                    37.9
                            Armenia                                                    36.7                                                no electricity.
                   Republic of Korea
                                                                                                                                              Throughout the 1990s, the
                               Spain                                             32                                                        World Bank, IAEA, and other
                           Germany                                            30.3
                             Finland                                        28.1                                                           organizations grappled with
                    United Kingdom                                     26
                        United States                           21.9
                                                                                                                                           the financing picture. Special
                     Czech Republic
                             Canada                      16
                                                              20                                                                           projects and programmes
                              Russia                  13.1                                                                                 assisted specific countries in
                           Argentina                11.4
                        South Africa          6.3                                                                                          identifying and evaluating dif-
                                                                                                                                           ferent types of financing
                               India    2.2                                                                                                arrangements. Viable
                            Romania    1.8
                              China 1.3                                                                                                    approaches emerged that were
                               Brazil 0.7
                            Pakistan 0.6                                                                                                   applied in several countries.
                         Kazakhstan 0.2                                                                                                       Other experts took aim at
                                                                                                                                           another drawback for many
                                                                                                                                           developing countries: the large
                                                                                                                                           size of typical commercial
                                             NUCLEAR POWER GROWTH                                                                          nuclear plants compared to the
                                             1980-1996, percentage of total electricity generation                                         capacity of national grids. They
   30                              18                                                                                                      again reviewed the need and
                                                                                                                                           market for smaller generating
                                                                                                                                           units, and Russia, Argentina
                                   14                                                                                                      and other developing countries
                                   12                                                                                                      emerged as potential suppliers
                                                                                                                                           of smaller nuclear power reac-
                                                                                                                                           tors. Possible greater use of such
                                     8                                                                                                     smaller units was studied,
                                     6                                                                                                     though mainly for non-power
                                                                                                                                           applications such as the supply
                                                                                                                                           of heat for residential and
                                                                                                                                           industrial needs, or for desalina-
                                     0                                                                                                     tion facilities. (See box, page 20.)
                                         1980                 1984                      1988               1992       1996                    Generally on the economic
                                                                                                                                           side, studies showed nuclear
                                    themselves from dependence                                 mated at an IAEA meeting that               power holding its own against
                                    and costs of foreign supplies,                             an investment in electric power             competing fuels. Analyses done
                                    chiefly oil, or from heavy                                 then valued at $522 billion                 in association with other orga-
                                    reliance on coal. China’s aver-                            (not including interest) would              nizations showed that nuclear
                                    age electricity use grew ten per-                          be needed through 1995 to                   power costs were roughly equal
                                    cent a year during the past                                meet projected rising electricity           to those of coal, and in some
                                    decade, and plans call for six-                            demands in developing coun-                 cases to natural gas in terms of
                                    teen large coal and nuclear                                tries. That amount represented              generating costs. One aspect of
                                    plants to help meet demands                                roughly sixty percent of all the            nuclear power — the relatively
                                    into the next century.                                     money spent on weapon sys-                  low cost of fuel — showed an
                                      At the start of the decade, in                           tems in just one year of the                upturn in the 1990s. The ura-
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997            1986, the World Bank esti-                                 past decade. Even now, the                  nium market rebounded signif-
                                                                             q Joint Convention on the
                                                                             Safety of Spent Fuel Manage-
                                                                             ment and on the Safety of
                                                                             Radioactive Waste Management.
                                                                             This agreement — negotiated by
                                                                             States meeting at the IAEA over
                                                                             the past two years — was
                                                                             adopted in September 1997 at a
                                                                             Diplomatic Conference in
                                                                             Vienna. It covers applications in
                                                                             the civilian sector and obliges
                                                                             parties to take appropriate steps
                                                                             for ensuring the safe and envi-
                                                                             ronmentally sound management
                                                                             of radioactive waste and spent
                                                                             fuel, and for preventing accidents
                                                                             with radiological consequences.
                                                                             It includes peer reviews of
                                                                             national reports at periodic
                                                                             q Protocol to Amend the 1963
                                                                             Vienna Convention on Civil
                                                                             Liability for Nuclear Damage
                                                                             and Convention on Supple-

         ilestones were achieved       occurred over the past decade         mentary Funding. States have
         over the decade, and oth-     that could have been prevented.       negotiated these two instruments
         ers are near, that fortify    In two new reports, IAEA spe-         at the IAEA in the 1990s that                        31
the global legal framework for         cialists analyzed the most recent     together revise the international
nuclear and radiation safety. States   serious accidents and drew atten-     regime for nuclear liability. They
put into place new international       tion to specific lessons that         were adopted by States meeting
agreements under Agency auspices       should be learned from them.          at a separate Diplomatic
that legally bind them to achieve         The strengthened legal frame-      Conference in Vienna in
and maintain high levels of safety.    work includes the:                    September 1997.
Over the past decade, national         q Convention on Nuclear               q Convention on Early Noti-
authorities also increasingly drew     Safety. States adopted this mile-     fication of a Nuclear Accident and
guidance from, or entirely incor-      stone agreement in 1996 that          the Convention on Assistance in
porated into their regulations,        commits them to achieve and           the Case of a Nuclear Accident or
advisory safety standards issued       maintain high safety levels. They     Radiological Emergency. These
through the Agency’s longstand-        are obligated to meet international   two Conventions were adopted in
ing work. Some of these were           benchmarks in major areas of reg-     1986 within months of the
newly revised or structured in the     ulation, management, and opera-       Chernobyl accident. The first one
1990s.                                 tion of land-based nuclear power      establishes an early alert and
  The coming challenges for            plants. A central feature is a peer   notification system for poten-
States supported by the IAEA           review process of national reports    tially severe nuclear accidents
will be to effectively implement       on steps States have taken to ful-    that could involve radioactive
the legal agreements, and to           fill their obligations. The first     fallout crossing national borders.
secure greater compliance with         review meeting has been set for       Notification is made to the
established safety standards.          April 1999. Through August            affected States directly, or
They are designed to help coun-        1997, forty countries were parties    through the IAEA, which set up
tries avoid losses from serious        to the Convention, including          an Emergency Response System
accidents. At industrial radiation     nearly all States having nuclear      as its focal point. As its name
processing facilities, several seri-   power programmes. Sixty-five          implies, the assistance Conven-
ous accidents involving workers        countries have signed it.             tion obliges States to facilitate    IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                           emergency support and to notify        follow 1990 recommendations            These are now being elaborated
                           the Agency of their available          of the International Commission        in supporting documents.
                           experts, equipment, and other          on Radiological Protection             q Regulations for the Safe
                           materials for providing assis-         (ICRP), which introduced lower         Transport of Radioactive
                           tance. As of August 1997, sev-         radiation dose limits for workers      Materials. First issued in 1961,
                           enty-eight States were parties to      and the general public. The BSS        these advisory regulations define
                           the notification Convention,           also incorporate the Commis-           the basic rules now largely
                           and seventy-four States to the         sion’s recommendation that             adopted throughout the world
                           assistance Convention.                 exposures from more than one           for transporting virtually all
                           q Convention on the Physical           source of radiation should be          radioactive material. Their objec-
                           Protection of Nuclear Material.        taken into account, including          tive is to protect the public,
                           This agreement, which entered          potential hazards from accidents.      transport workers, property, and
                           into force in 1987, addresses          Supplementing the BSS are a            the environment from the effects
                           security of materials during           range of supporting documents          of radiation exposure during
                           international nuclear transport        that provide specific guidance in      transport. A revised edition was
                           by obliging parties to ensure the      applying the standards.                issued in 1996. It takes into
                           protection of nuclear material         q Nuclear Safety Standards             account the ICRP’s 1990 rec-
                           within their territory or on board     (NUSS) . A backbone in the             ommendations and the Agency’s
                           their ships or aircraft. In 1992,      field, the extensive NUSS advi-        Basic Safety Standards. It also
                           the first Review Conference was        sory codes and guides cover            introduces a new type of package
                           held in Vienna at which parties        nuclear power plants. Topics are       for air transport that must meet
                           reconfirmed their commitments.         related to governmental organi-        more stringent criteria than
                           They also expressed their con-         zation, siting, design, operation,     existing types. A number of
                           viction that it provides an appro-     and quality assurance. NUSS            safety guides support the regu-
                           priate framework for global            codes and some guides were             lations.
                           cooperation in protection, recov-      revised over the past decade,
                           ery, and return of stolen nuclear      steps that included issuance in               or all Agency standards,
                           material and in the application of     1996 of fifteen documents on                  their collective profile was
                           criminal sanctions against those       quality assurance. Separate                   uniformly raised in recent
                           who commit criminal acts               Agency safety standards cover          years. A renewed and more uni-
                           involving nuclear material. As of      design and operational aspects         form preparation and review
                           August 1997, fifty-seven States        of research reactors.                  process was initiated in the mid-
                           were parties.                          q Radioactive Waste Safety             1990s under the responsibility
                                                                  Standards (RADWASS). Devel-            of a newly created Department

                                  he IAEA’s advisory nuclear      oped through a programme               of Nuclear Safety. Also estab-
                                  and radiation safety stan-      started in the early 1990s, these      lished was a set of five separate
                                  dards include the:              standards draw upon extensive          advisory bodies. Each has a
                           q International Basic Safety           safety documentation on waste          membership of about fifteen
                           Standards for Protection Against       management issued by the               senior governmental officials
                           Ionizing Radiation and the Safety      Agency since its formation. They       that work from harmonized
                           of Radiation Sources (BSS) . A         cover an extensive range of top-       terms of reference to review and
                           milestone was achieved in the          ics related to the safe manage-        guide the safety standards pro-
                           mid-1990s when an unprece-             ment, including storage and dis-       grammes.
                           dented international effort            posal, of wastes from nuclear          —Based on reports by Abel
                           involving the IAEA, WHO, and           facilities, hospitals, industry, and   Gonzalez, Director of the IAEA
                           three other organizations led to       research. Also addressed are           Division of Radiation and Waste
                           revised global radiation standards.    waste discharges, decommis-            Safety, and staff of the Agency’s
                           The BSS cover general and              sioning of facilities, and envi-       Legal Division.
                           detailed requirements for a broad      ronmental restoration. The lead-
                           range of activities, and are an out-   ing document was issued in
                           growth of a vast amount of new         1995 and establishes the basic         Photo: One of Germany’s nuclear power
                           scientific information accumu-         principles and concepts for safe       plants that together provide about thirty
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   lated over the past decade. They       radioactive waste management.          percent of the country’s electricity.
icantly. Global assessments         Central and Eastern Europe. In      the 1990s, IAEA-supported
about its resource base and pro-    Bulgaria, technical assistance      fuel research expanded to
duction also became more thor-      has since expanded to cover         twenty-six countries and three
ough. Key data from Russia and      seismic evaluations, as it does     international organizations.
other former Soviet-bloc coun-      in several other countries. The     Technical assistance in fuel
tries were made available for the   aim is to help make sure            behaviour studies was extended
first time at an IAEA technical     nuclear units withstand earth-      to newly independent coun-
meeting.                            quakes, even those rated higher     tries in Eastern Europe and to
                                    than the one Japan’s reactors       the types of fuel used at reac-

       or the IAEA’s involve-       withstood successfully during       tors in operation there.
       ment in nuclear power,       the decade.

       the decade’s unfolding         Importantly, Agency efforts               ext generation plants, as
economic and environmental          helped put in place better pre-             they are popularly
realities translated into new       ventive maintenance and oper-               known, were introduced
challenges and opportunities.       ational controls at nuclear         in some countries during the
Overall, technical programmes       plants over the past ten years.     decade. Common goals for
became more closely bound to        Through programmes to mod-          new designs include greater
plant safety, performance, and      ernize training approaches and      reliability, better economics,
waste-related issues.               instrumentation systems, the        and enhanced safety. Annual
   An overriding aim was to         work extended beyond the            investment in research and
assist more countries in building   Chernobyl-type units to             development of different types
better capabilities for safe and    encompass other reactor types.      of advanced nuclear plants
reliable nuclear operations         A far greater share of incidents    grew to an estimated $2 billion
within the framework of the         at plants also were peer-           in 1996. Most attention
Agency’s international standards.   reviewed and technically ana-       focused on “evolutionary” con-
   Over the past fifteen years,     lyzed for “lessons learned”.        cepts that build upon today’s
Agency-supported technical          IAEA-supported or initiated         best features and add others.                       33
assistance projects invested        global information networks         By 1996, some types of
$100 million in training and        and safety services linked with     advanced reactors came on line
hardware support related to         national regulatory systems         or were nearing operation in
nuclear safety. This support        provided a central mechanism.       the Far East, Europe, and
went primarily to the seventeen                                         North America, while others

developing countries using or                 orldwide, nuclear         will take longer to develop and
considering use of nuclear                    plant performance         demonstrate. IAEA interna-
power. Agency technical assis-                improved throughout       tional working groups on
tance included helping to build     the 1990s. Agency evaluations       advanced reactor design devel-
an on-site training simulator       tracked a common indicator          opment are at the forefront of
for nuclear plant operating         — the“energy availability fac-      cooperative work. The experts
staff, the first of its kind, in    tor”, measuring how close to        meet periodically to exchange
Hungary, for which surplus          capacity the units perform.         experience and advise the
parts from idled plants in          The factor rose nearly seven        Agency on research needs, par-
Germany and Poland were             percent in the 1990s, and by        ticularly involving technical
used. In the early 1990s, the       1996 was approaching an             and information links between
Agency was one of the first         eighty percent average.             researchers in developing and
organizations to point out defi-    Another indicator — energy          industrialized countries.
ciencies at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy     losses from plant outages —         Another type of future nuclear
plant. These findings spurred       dropped to below five percent,      energy system drew more inter-
assistance through the IAEA’s       approximately equal to that of      est over the decade in Japan,
expanding safety programmes.        fossil-fuelled plants. Also gain-   France, Russia, and at the
The Agency also flagged the         ing ground was the operational      European Nuclear Research
need for greater combined           performance of nuclear fuel at      Centre (CERN). It relies on
efforts to confront problems at     light-water reactors, the pre-      machines called accelerators
that plant and others like it in    dominant type in operation. In      that produce high energy pro-       IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                             TOTAL PLUTONIUM GENERATION                                                entry of plutonium into the
                             in tonnes, by year                                                        civil marketplace. The USA has
                                                                                                       declared fifty tonnes as surplus,
                           2500                                                                        and it is assumed Russia will
                                                                      — projections —                  also release as much. Overall,
                                                                                                       concerns were principally com-
                           2000                                                                        pounded by several factors: an
                                                                                                       expanded reprocessing industry
                                                                                                       for the recycling of plutonium,
                           1500                                                                        and delays in commercializing
                                                                                                       more fast-breeder reactors,
                                                                                                       which are able to burn pluto-
                           1000                                                                        nium. These factors together
                                                                                                       contributed to rising global plu-
                                                                                                       tonium inventories. (See graph.)
                            500                                                                           Action launched through the
                                                                                                       Agency included setting up a
                                                                                                       database and methodology to
                              0                                                                        track inventories and reliably
                                   1980     1985     1990      1995    2000     2005     2010          project them; developing guide-
                                                                                                       lines for safe handling and stor-
                           ton currents. An attraction is        either reprocessed or prepared        age of large amounts of sepa-
                           that these systems, when              for containment in engineered         rated plutonium; and develop-
                           merged with fission reactor           storage facilities. So emplaced       ing a methodology to address
                           technologies, hold the promise        for extended time periods, its        concerns related to nuclear pro-
                           of producing electricity using        radioactivity level decays signifi-   liferation from the standpoint
   34                      nuclear fuels, while at the same      cantly. In support of national        of different fuel-cycle concepts.
                           time destroying plutonium and         efforts to keep fuel safely stored    The IAEA has helped to negoti-
                           long-lived radioactive materials.     and managed, the IAEA                 ate controls required to prevent
                                                                 expanded its technical, research,     the potential reuse of ex-mili-

                                   ew realities at the “back     and advisory services. Mainly         tary plutonium for weapons
                                   end” of nuclear’s fuel        involved are countries starting       and to protect the public from
                                   cycle meant adjustments       up storage facilities or those        its radiation.
                           had to be made. Managing              studying how spent fuel behaves          Other issues arose just from
                           greater amounts of spent fuel         under storage conditions              the industry’s advancing age.
                           became a pressing issue in many       extending beyond fifty years.         Countries marked the fortieth
                           countries, and took on high pri-         For receiving most types of        anniversary of nuclear power as
                           ority at the Agency. In 1985,         radioactive wastes, more engi-        a commercial energy source in
                           the world’s cumulative inven-         neered disposal sites had opened      the mid-1990s, and many
                           tory of spent fuel was about          or were in planning by 1997.          plants are decades old. Renewed
                           30,000 tonnes of heavy metal.         But political decisions slowed        interest surfaced in what the
                           Volumes by the turn of the cen-       progress toward plans for con-        Financial Times called “the sci-
                           tury are now estimated six times      struction of deep geological          ence of nuclear gerontology”.
                           that high, and Agency analysts        repositories engineered to hold       More than one hundred plants
                           foresee steady though slower          high-level radioactive wastes         worldwide were nearing retire-
                           growth beyond that time.              and spent fuel. (See box, page        ment at a typical age of forty.
                           Although considerable, these          39.)                                  Many of them are destined to
                           volumes are far smaller and              From other directions, the         be decommissioned, a process
                           more easily isolated from the         spectre arose of what some            involving site cleanup and
                           environment than waste from           called a “plutonium economy”.         restoration. Others are being
                           fossil fuel plants, which is          The end of the Cold War saw           refurbished and upgraded to
                           mostly released into the atmos-       the dismantling of nuclear            extend their lifetimes by about
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   phere. Used nuclear fuel is           weapons and the controlled            twenty years. More countries
began to seek guidance through       encouraged to do likewise.           coal seem bound to grow mas-
IAEA channels to learn the best                                           sively in the next century.

practices being followed in the                 hat is the outlook at        At the global level, Mr.
industry for “life extension” and               this stage? Long          Fischer’s review finds that
for experience acquired in                      before the decade         world energy development
decommissioning and site             closed, it became apparent that      may be going off course if the
restoration. Importantly, the        nuclear power prospects, and         nuclear option is rejected. The
Agency recently issued interim       the future of related IAEA pro-      Intergovernmental Panel on
guidelines for such activities to    grammes, would depend on             Climate Change (IPCC) is the
more fully elaborate its safety      several key factors. As David        main international body assess-
standards.                           Fischer writes in his history of     ing the impact of greenhouse
   Age-related issues, among         the Agency, they include:            gases on the world’s climate.
others, also affected the world’s    q Future demand for electricity,     The IAEA provided the Panel
several hundred research reac-       especially in Asia, where growth     with a considerable amount of
tors, whose uses range from          trends appear strongest.             material, he notes, but in 1994
scientific investigations to the     q The relative cost of gener-        the IAEA went on record as
production of radioisotopes          ating electricity by burning         stating that the draft assess-
used in medicine and other           fossil and nuclear fuels.            ments the Panel made in that
fields. Most of these reactors       q Stagnating demand for elec-        year did not “adequately reflect
were built in the 1960s.             tricity in most countries of         the potential contribution that
   A particular technical, as well   North America and Western            nuclear energy could make to
as political, issue was the dis-     Europe. In most of these coun-       meeting energy demands while
posal and safe storage of used       tries, the only rapidly expand-      reducing carbon dioxide emis-
fuel from research reactor facili-   ing source of energy for electric-   sions.” Subsequently, the head
ties. About sixty countries are      ity generation is natural gas.       of the International Energy
now operating research reactors.     q Maintaining a superior             Agency of the Organization for
When most of these were built        safety record for nuclear            Economic Cooperation and                             35
about twenty-five years ago, it      energy, including its waste          Development (OECD) noted
was assumed that the spent fuel      products, to counterbalance          in a statement to a UN meet-
would eventually be shipped          the memories of Chernobyl.           ing that “nuclear energy [had]
back to its foreign suppliers,       q Persuading the public that         accounted for the greater part
chiefly the United States and        radioactive waste can be dis-        of the lowering of carbon in-
former Soviet Union.                 posed of without endangering         tensity of the energy econo-
   Agency efforts intensified in     the health of future genera-         mies of the OECD countries
the mid-1990s to assess the sit-     tions. The technology is avail-      over the last 25 years.”
uation and help operators of         able, but public confidence is          Nonetheless, Mr. Fischer con-
research reactors identify and       lacking.                             cludes, “...the past years have
take remedial measures. The          q And finally, how seriously         shown how difficult a task it will
work encompassed fact-finding        the world takes the threat of        be to persuade energy authorities
missions, training courses. and      global warming, which stems          and governments, in almost all
advisory technical services on       largely from “greenhouse gases”      countries concerned and partic-
the best ways to store the spent     emitted by fossil fuels. This        ularly in developing countries
fuel. It also involved working       applies particularly to North        like India and China, to pay the
with governmental authorities        America and Western Europe.          cost of reducing carbon dioxide
in the USA, Russia, and other        There, except in France,             emissions and to persuade the
countries on further steps that      nuclear energy programmes do         public that nuclear energy is one
could be taken. The USA has          not seem likely to flourish          of the viable solutions to the
established a programme to           unless drastic steps are taken to    problem of global warming. The
take back any spent fuel it had      curb the use of fossil fuel for      reluctance of the IPCC to recog-
originally supplied to fuel          electricity generation. It also      nize the potentially benign role
research reactors, and as the        applies to two Asian countries,      of nuclear energy was another
decade closed, authorities in the    China and India, where energy        pointer in this direction.”
Russian Federation were being        consumption and burning of                                                IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                    eams of the world’s best and brightest sci-
                                    entists took on major technical challenges
                                    during the past decade to move the world
                            closer to demonstrating the power of nuclear
                            fusion, the energy source which powers the sun
                            and stars. Under Agency auspices, global co-
                            operation was expanded in the late 1980s
                            through a four-party initiative that includes
                            Japan, Russia, the European Union, and the
                            United States, and is known as the International
                            Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER
                            (see illustration: note the size of the model com-
                            pared to the people in front of it). The project
                            was set up to confirm the scientific, and address
                            the technical, feasibility of fusion as a potentially
                            safe and environmentally acceptable source of
                            energy. Fusion’s main fuels — deuterium and
                            tritium, one extracted from seawater and the
                            other bred from abundant lithium — and its
                            end product, the inert gas helium, are neither
                            toxic, radioactive, nor do they contribute to the
                            “greenhouse effect”. In late 1990, scientists suc-
                            cessfully completed the conceptual design of the
                            ITER tokamak fusion reactor, and two years
                            later they started an engineering design phase
                            whose intensive work will run through most of
   36                       this decade. So far, the four parties have not for-
                            mally committed themselves to build the fusion          Nuclear Fusion. If technical and economic barri-
                            device, and some technical and financial ques-          ers can be overcome, the decade’s extensive efforts
                            tions have arisen. Besides the ITER project, other      could bring the promise of fusion-generated elec-
                            fusion concepts are being investigated interna-         tricity closer to being successfully tested in the
                            tionally, work recorded and shared through              21st century’s marketplace.
                            IAEA-supported global conferences, research             — Based on reports by Thomas Dolan, Franz-
                            programmes, and the IAEA’s scientific journal           Nikolaus Flakus, and David Fischer.

                                ust where the world’s            other promising energy               tant front. — Lothar
                                drive for safer, cleaner         sources, as they did decades         Wedekind, based on reports by
                                energy development will          ago with the commercial use          Dr. Hans Blix, Victor
                           lead remains to be seen.              of nuclear energy.                   Mourogov, Zygmund
                           Maybe superconduction or                For the IAEA, its evolving         Domaratzki, Morris Rosen,
                           commercial thermonuclear              roles in years ahead almost          Juergen Kupitz, Poong-Eil
                           fusion (see box above) will           certainly will be influenced         Juhn, John Cleveland, Boris
                           come true far earlier than            by answers to the big ques-          Guerguiev, K.V. Mahadeva
                           now believed possible.                tion posed at the outset —           Rao, Iain Ritchie, Ms.
                           Scientists — like those work-         how governments decide to            Candace Chan-Sands, Bela J.
                           ing at the International              fuel and engineer the energy         Csik, Viktor Arkhipov, Noboru
                           Centre for Theoretical                drive ahead. The Kyoto con-          Oi, James Finucane, Arnold
                           Physics in Italy run by               ference on climate change in         Bonne, Royal Kastens, Ms.
                           UNESCO with IAEA sup-                 December, among other                Lucille Langlois, Leonard
                           port — may achieve break-             events, may help dictate the         Bennett, Ms. Evelyne Bertel,
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   throughs in solar energy or           pace of progress on an impor-        and David Fischer.
BY                  LAND,                           ATOP
       he past ten years have seen    icant toxicity to marine larvae,
       many countries call upon       an effect that decreased signifi-
       the Agency’s scientific and    cantly by 1993. This experience
technical expertise for assess-       demonstrated how nuclear tech-
ments of radiological conditions      niques can be effectively com-
and environmental pollution           bined with other methods to
threats. Most widely publicized       trace the origins and movement
was the response to the 1986          of oil pollution, and help assess
Chernobyl accident. (See page         damage.
24.) In the early to mid-1990s,
countries requested the Agency’s      q Along the shores of the
assistance in response to some        Caspian Sea and the Black Sea,
serious concerns:                     in Thailand and other countries,
                                      Agency teams confronted other
q IAEA scientists at the Marine       problems over the decade. In
Environment Laboratory were           the Caspian region, for exam-
called to Kuwait’s shores after the   ple, support went to five coun-
Gulf War in 1991 to survey and        tries for environmental moni-
analyze pollution damage caused       toring campaigns to find out
by blazing field fires which          why the sea level is rising, and
burned 500 million barrels of         how to prevent its flooding of        plan’s goals and principles have
gushing oil. Preliminary results      cities and farmlands. Another         been prepared.
were part of the world’s first pub-   global project with the Swedish
lished environmental assessment       International Development             q In countries of Eastern and
in the prestigious science jour-      Authority includes isotope stud-      Central Europe, awareness of
nal Nature. Surprisingly, they        ies of agricultural pesticide         radioactive contamination from
showed that the greatest hydro-       runoff which threatens coastal        uranium mining and milling
carbon pollution was within a         regions and the livelihood of         increased and it became a serious
radius of approximately 400           fisheries.                            health and environmental con-
kilometers of the sources. By            About eighty percent of all        cern. In 1993 and 1995, the
1992, the oil pollutants had          marine pollution is caused by         Agency initiated efforts to help
degraded, with only resistant         human activities on land: sewage      countries assess the situation and
compounds left, and contami-          disposal, industrial wastes, and      begin to restore contaminated
nation levels dropped to half of      chemical pollutants. In 1995,         lands through effective remedial
1991 values. The rate of reduc-       States adopted a global action        measures. By 1997, fifteen coun-
tion fell by 1993, thought to         plan hailed as the first programme    tries were participating in two
stem from resumption of com-          to lead to more “sustainable inter-   remediation projects, with some
mercial tanker traffic and asso-      action” between people and the        results already published by the
ciated “routine” oil spills.          oceans. The challenge may engage      Agency. New projects have been
Concentrations of oil pollutants      the Agency’s expertise. More than     initiated in countries including
in the seas peaked in August          a dozen ways in which this exper-     Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and
1991, when tests showed signif-       tise might contribute to the action   Slovenia.                            IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                           q In the Arctic Seas, an exten-     people living in these settlements   as well as recent patterns of their
                           sive project from 1993-96           were not at radiological risk. It    relocation, had not convinced
                           assessed potential health and       also found, however, that land       them that they could safely
                           environmental impacts of            very near the test site had not      return to the atoll to live. The
                           radioactive waste dumped in         been restricted and was being        advisory group concluded that
                           shallow waters near the Novaya      reoccupied. The team found           technically and financially feasi-
                           Zemlya nuclear test site. The       radiation levels in these areas      ble remedial measures could be
                           waste included spent fuel in six    high enough to justify urging        taken to allow the Bikini peo-
                           submarine reactors and in the       authorities to bar people from       ple’s rehabitation in line with
                           fuel assembly of an icebreaker      settling there for safety reasons.   international radiological pro-
                           ship reactor. Under the auspices                                         tection principles. If the mea-
                           of the International Maritime       q Heightened concerns over           sures were taken, the group rec-
                           Organization and in accordance      natural radon levels in houses       ommended monitoring of food-
                           with its responsibility under the   and buildings were loudly voiced     stuffs to ensure the strategy’s
                           London Convention to prevent        throughout the decade, mainly in     effectiveness. Further Agency-
                           pollution by dumping, the           countries of Europe and North        sponsored activities in support
                           IAEA launched a study involv-       America. Global awareness was        of the Bikini people’s concerns
                           ing more than fifty experts from    further raised at an international   are under consideration.
                           fourteen countries. The study       conference on high levels of nat-
                           found that the present and          ural radiation in 1990 in Iran.      q An assessment of the present
                           future radiological risks to typ-   Specialists from thirty countries    and future radiological situation
                           ical local population groups        attended the meeting, which was      at the former nuclear test sites at
                           from the dumped wastes are          co-sponsored by the IAEA,            the Mururoa and Fagataufa atolls
                           small. It also concluded that, on   WHO, and other bodies.               in the South Pacific was
                           radiological grounds alone, a       Throughout the early 1990s, the      launched in 1996. The study,
                           remedial action programme was       IAEA and European countries          which was requested and is being
   38                      not warranted. Experts noted        sponsored a five-year radon          principally financed by France, is
                           that limited environmental          research programme that ana-         under the guidance of an
                           monitoring should be consid-        lytically supported national         International Advisory Com-
                           ered in order to detect any         monitoring campaigns. More           mittee of global experts. Eleven
                           changes in the condition of         than fifty countries took part in    laboratories in nine countries are
                           dumped highly radioactive           fifty-one separate projects which    participating in the analysis of
                           wastes. In the mid-1990s, IAEA      involved the laboratory analysis     terrestrial samples, and six labo-
                           marine scientists were also asked   of radon measurements taken          ratories in six countries in the
                           to support studies of past          outdoors, at work sites, and in      analysis of marine samples. A
                           radioactive waste dumping sites     homes.                               sampling and surveillance cam-
                           in areas of the northwest Pacific                                        paign was conducted in July
                           Ocean. They joined two scien-       q An advisory group of experts       1996. Closely involved in mon-
                           tific expeditions jointly carried   from seven countries, the IAEA,      itoring and analytical work are
                           out by Japan, the Republic of       WHO, and United Nations              scientists of the IAEA’s
                           Korea, and Russia. A report is      Scientific Committee on the          Seibersdorf Laboratories and its
                           expected this year.                 Effects of Atomic Radiation          Marine Environment Labora-
                                                               (UNSCEAR) was organized in           tory. As the advisory committee
                           q In Kazakhstan in 1994, an         late 1995 to assess questions        reported at meetings this year,
                           expert group assessed the former    raised by those Marshall             the study is progressing on
                           nuclear test site known as          Islanders who had been evacu-        schedule for completion in the
                           Semipalatinsk. Of concern were      ated from the former nuclear test    early part of 1998.
                           radiological conditions for about   site at the Bikini Atoll. The        — Based on IAEA documents and
                           40,000 people living outside but    Bikini people were relocated to      reports by Ms. Kirsti Sjoeblom,
                           close to the test site boundary,    the Marshall Islands before the      Gordon Linsley, Murdoch Baxter,
                           above which radioactive plumes      start of nuclear testing in the      Ms. Candace Chan-Sands, Pier
                           from nuclear tests had passed.      mid-1940s. Scientific radiologi-     Roberto Danesi, and Jasimuddin
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   The expert group found that         cal studies over the past decades,   Ahmed.
       he challenge of demon-                                             and safety assessments of
       strating the safety of                                             underground disposal facilities
       radioactive waste storage                                          for other types of wastes.
and disposal assumed greater                                                The Agency broke some new
proportions over the past decade.                                         ground when it supported a six-
Most concerns emanated from                                               month international assessment
political decisions to delay plans                                        of scientific studies analyzing the
to build or open repositories                                             performance of the Waste
engineered to handle highly toxic                                         Isolation Pilot Plant in the USA,
and radioactive spent fuel and                                            now in the final stages of gov-
nuclear waste. Some countries                                             ernmental review. Organized
initiated expensive cleanup cam-                                          jointly with the OECD Nuclear
paigns to counteract past waste                                           Energy Agency, the assessment
storage and disposal practices in                                         was conducted in 1996-97 by
military and civilian areas. In                                           experts in the fields of geology,
most countries, however, more                                             environmental protection, and
technical progress was quietly                                            nuclear and radiation safety.
being made to demonstrate solu-                                           Their report supported the sci-
tions to both real and perceived                                          entific studies and found them
problems.                                                                 technically sound. The pilot
   An IAEA survey in the mid-                                             plant is designed to permanently                              39
1990s showed that experience is      reported on both the “pros and       dispose of plutonium and other
being broadly applied. There are     cons” of such an approach.           long-lived wastes generated by
more than one hundred disposal         For disposal of high-level         defense-related activities, includ-
facilities worldwide, ranging        radioactive wastes and spent         ing contaminated tools and
from engineered underground          fuel, demonstration plans            clothing. It is engineered more
vaults to geological repositories    moved ahead, albeit slowly,          than one kilometer under-
for wastes classified as low or      often because of lengthy tech-       ground at a site in New Mexico.
intermediate level (LILW).           nical and political review           The schedule calls for it to begin
Another forty-two repositories       processes. Most countries fac-       receiving wastes in May 1998,
were under development. They         ing the issue do not envisage        pending approval of the US
all rely on multiple protective      starting up deep geological dis-     Environmental           Protection
measures and operational and         posal repositories until well into   Agency and the Environment
institutional controls. Agency       the next century. That does not      Department of New Mexico.
efforts focused on assisting         mean there is a backlog of           — Based on reports by Kyong
countries by promoting the           waste piling up. In nearly all       Won Han, Jorma Heinonen, Ms.
transfer of proven technologies      these countries, nuclear waste       Candace Chan-Sands, and
and approaches through techni-       is contained in engineered           Arnold Bonne.
cal missions, research pro-          interim storage facilities that
grammes, safety services, and        allow it to cool safely over         Photo: One of the protective means of
other channels. Work also was        decades. The Agency’s techni-        safely containing radioactive wastes is
renewed with some countries          cal assistance during the decade     known as vitrification (from the Latin
interested in setting up regional,   included supporting extensive        “vitrus’”- glass). Glass is used to solidi-
or multinational, repositories       joint research programmes on         fy high-level wastes as one protective
whereby one country hosts a site     the performance of high-level        step before disposal. Here molten glass
accepting wastes from others.        waste forms and containers           is shown being poured from a plat-
The IAEA identified and              under repository conditions,         inum crucible into a steel bar mold.          IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                                              1972          1997

     World population stands at 3.8 billion people, over 70%                Total population hits 5.85 billion, an increase of two billion over 1972, and grows by
                      of whom live in developing countries.                 81 million people a year. About 80% of the world population now live in developing
        About 38% of humanity live in towns and cities, only                About 47% of humanity live in or near cities, eighteen of which have more than ten
      three of which have more than ten million inhabitants.                million inhabitants. Thirteen of these “megacities” are in developing countries.

                                                                            AIR POLLUTION
     More than 200 million cars, most of them in industrial-                Nearly 500 million cars are on the roads in industrialized and developing countries,
      ized countries, aggravate localized pollution problems.               where many cities now have hazardous pollution levels. Transboundary pollution has
                                                                            become a regional and global issue.

                                                                            THE EARTH & CO2
         About sixteen billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, a gas              CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and other sources are approximately twenty-
     linked to global warming, are released into the air annu-              three billion tonnes per year. Atmospheric concentrations surpass 360 ppm — about
          ally, atmospheric concentration stands at 327 ppm.                20% higher than levels one hundred years ago.

                                              FRESH WATER
          About 2600 cubic kilometres of fresh water are used               Fresh water use has risen by nearly two-thirds to 4200 cubic kilometres a year. Water
40                            annually, mostly for irrigation.              problems are severe: 1.4 billion people — one-fifth of the world population — lack
                                                                            access to safe drinking water, and one-tenth lack water for proper sanitation.
                                                ENERGY MIX
          Fossil fuels make up 94% of the world’s energy mix.               Fossil fuels account for 90% of the world's energy mix, up 3% from 1991 and indi-
                                                                            cating a rising trend after the low of the 1980s.

     Electricity accounts for about 21% of total energy produc-             Electricity accounts for about one-third of total energy production. The world’s per
       tion. On a yearly per capita basis, consumption is about             capita consumption reaches 2200 kWh in the mid-1990s. By region, disparities still
          1400 kilowatt-hours (kWh). By region, consumption                 reign: consumption stands at 13,000 kWh in North America, 5400 in Western Europe,
        stands at approximately 8200 kWh in North America,                  4200 in Eastern Europe, 1500 in Latin America, 1200 in South East Asia, 500 in
     3100 in Western Europe, 2800 in Eastern Europe, 565 in                 Africa, and 500 in the Middle East and South Asia. Total electricity generation stands at
     Latin America, 396 in South East Asia, 240 in Africa, and              about 13,000 TWh, with the share of nuclear approximately 2200 TWh, or 17%.
      143 in the Middle East and South Asia. Total world elec-
      tricity generation is about 5000 terawatt-hours, of which
                nuclear power supplied less than 2% (80 TWh).
                                                                            ARMS CONTROL
        Countries spend US $836 billion (at 1995 prices) on                 Global military spending is about US $800 billion. Before adoption of global nuclear
           arms and armed forces. The five declared nuclear-                test ban in 1996, seven more tests are carried out, raising the total reported since
       weapons States conduct 57 nuclear tests. By the end of               1945 to more than 2040. Reductions in arms spending continue, but about 6000
         the year, 70 non-nuclear-weapon States had become                  strategic nuclear bombs remain in Russia and the USA. By July 1997, the number of
             Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of              States joining the NPT reaches 185, including 180 non-nuclear-weapon States and all
      Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which had come into force in                   five declared nuclear powers. Cutbacks in military spending yield a "peace dividend"
                                                March 1970.                 in excess of US $900 billion, the UN reports, but whether surplus funds are being
                                                                            used for social and economic development is difficult to track.

     Information based on reports in the Financial Times, 4 June 1997, and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, May/June 1996, IAEA publications, databases.
IAEA 2000

        uring the last ten years,      clandestine efforts to acquire
        members of the IAEA            nuclear weapons.
        have been persistent in           Looking ahead, the safeguards
taking action on two vital fronts:     system of verification stands ready
verification to help halt the          to perform other vital functions
spread of nuclear weapons and          for international security — for
measures to ensure the safe use of     example, that of facilitating the
nuclear energy in a sustainable        reduction of nuclear weapons
global energy mix. At the same         worldwide. Even the vision of a          number of binding conventions:
time, the approaches to the trans-     nuclear-weapon-free world is             the “Chernobyl” conventions on
fer of beneficial nuclear tech-        deserving of practical considera-        early notification of nuclear acci-
niques for development were            tion and preparation. As nuclear         dents and emergency assistance,
reinvigorated. The outlook now         weapon stocks are reduced there          the convention on the safety of
is for further reliance on the         will be a need for assurance that        nuclear power plant operation, the
Agency as the single institution       nuclear material from dismantled         convention on the safe manage-
through which governments can          weapons does not go into new             ment of radioactive waste and
consult, negotiate and conduct         weapons. At the same time, the           spent fuel, which we hope will
global action in the nuclear field.    assurance that new countries are         soon be in force, and the agree-
   The recent strengthening of the     not acquiring such weapons will          ment to improve the regime for         41
Agency’s safeguards system to ver-     be even more important than it is        liability in the event of accidents.
ify non-proliferation undertak-        today. In the nuclear disarmament        Concurrently with this normative
ings — involving greater access to     process, international verification      development, States are increas-
information and locations and          is likely to have a role. Under a tri-   ingly cooperating —often through
the use of new and advanced            lateral arrangement between the          the Agency — to provide practical
techniques — responds to the           Russian Federation, the USA and          assistance and advice on the main-
need of the international com-         the IAEA, a study is being made          tenance of high safety standards.
munity for improved global and         of one new verification task that        The Agency will be called upon to
regional security. It will also pro-   may be undertaken by the Agency.         facilitate the implementation of
vide an improved basis for future         Although individual countries         the new international arrange-
collaboration in the peaceful uses     bear the full responsibility for         ments and, no doubt, will be the
of nuclear energy. It underpins        safety of nuclear activities under       centre for further evolution of
the nuclear-weapon-free status of      their jurisdiction and control,          international law in the safety
Latin America, Africa, South East      confidence in matters of nuclear         area. The growing evidence of a
Asia and the South Pacific, all of     safety depends greatly on a record       record of high safety and efficient
which have called on the Agency        of safe operation worldwide. The         operation of nuclear facilities
to provide verification services.      IAEA has played an increasingly          demonstrates the progress that has
While the chief mandate remains        important role in developing             been made, while shortcomings
verification to help limit the fur-    global international norms for           which have been identified point
ther spread of nuclear weapons,        nuclear safety which, together,          to the further agenda of work.
the Agency has already been            now form an international legal             The dramatic global political
requested to verify the disman-        infrastructure for nuclear activi-       developments of the last ten years
tling of South Africa’s former         ties. The Agency can take pride in       have allowed the international
nuclear-weapon programme and           this brisk development — a size-         community to give renewed
to enforce Security Council mea-       able and solid body of standards         attention to the fundamental
sures for the destruction of Iraq’s    and guidelines and, indeed, a            issues of human welfare — devel-
     opment and the environment.             Although much nuclear technol-         erable expertise that exists in the
     This new situation enhances the         ogy transfer can be left to the all    IAEA in the general field of
     role of the Agency in the fields of     powerful market, much remains,         energy must be fully used in any
     energy and technology transfer. It      especially at the introductory         system-wide forum.
     is evident that with populations        stage, where Agency assistance will       Third is the question of
     still increasing and with               make a big difference.                 resources. The international sys-
     unequalled rates of economic               In an era of rapidly growing        tem has been increasingly under
     growth in many parts of the             interaction among States, it is not    pressure to improve efficiency and
     world, the global demand for            surprising that governments are        effectiveness, and the Agency has
     energy will continue to rise. At the    relying increasingly on multilateral   played its full part. The strength-
     same time there is a greater aware-     mechanisms to meet new needs.          ening of the safeguards system is
     ness of the need to preserve            This leads to three considerations.    accompanied by an emphasis on
     healthy local environments and to       First, how do we best use the vari-    increased efficiency. New
     avoid further global environmen-        ous multilateral mechanisms to         approaches to technology transfer
     tal damage — through climate            meet these new needs.                  have the same twin objectives.
     change, desertification and the         Collaboration and coordination         Administrative systems are con-
     loss of bio-diversity. There are        are clearly a key. The Agency has      stantly under review and new
     only a limited range of economi-        much good experience here — for        technologies offer promise of fur-
     cally viable options currently avail-   example, in hosting a joint pro-       ther efficiencies. Voluntary contri-
     able for the large-scale generation     gramme with the FAO in using           butions will continue to finance
     of electricity and other forms of       nuclear techniques to increase         some of the new activities
     energy which are needed. Nuclear        food production, in conducting         Member States want the IAEA to
     power is one of these. It is a          marine environmental research in       pursue but they cannot be a sub-
     potential major contributor to an       joint projects with UNEP, and in       stitute for regular funding of core
     environmentally sound, carbon-          radiation safety in our close col-     activities. To do more with less
     free global energy supply. A sus-       laboration with UNSCEAR. New           will remain a challenge!
42   tained nuclear safety record — in       areas of cooperation have also            It is my conviction that the legal
     operation as well as waste disposal     opened up in recent years: in arms     and technical foundations that
     — and sustained objective infor-        control, with the Secretariats         have been laid and the services
     mation is needed for the potential      charged with implementing the          that have been developed over the
     to be fully used. The IAEA has an       bans on chemical weapons and           past decade through the Agency
     important role in both regards.         nuclear testing; in the evaluation     will help lead the world to safer
        In the area of nuclear tech-         and remediation of radiation cont-     and more secure use of nuclear
     niques, the Agency is now focus-        amination, where the Agency has        energy and nuclear techniques.
     ing on the transfer of technology       worked with the WHO and oth-           Major challenges have been
     in ways that bring maximum ben-         ers; and in the efforts to prevent     encountered and the Agency has
     efit to the countries concerned, in     the illegal trafficking of nuclear     emerged stronger from successfully
     particular the end-users. This          and radioactive materials, where       meeting them. Major new roles
     involves the Agency working, for        we have worked with the World          have been assigned and are being
     example, with medical and agri-         Customs Council. These interac-        performed. With the continued
     cultural institutes, and with doc-      tions are essential and require con-   active engagement of Member
     tors and farmers — those best able      stant attention to ensure effective-   States, the Agency and its staff can
     to make direct use of the tech-         ness and efficiency.                   confidently look to
     niques. There are many tangible            Secondly, some important ques-      the challenges over
     benefits — some rather spectacu-        tions arise about the overall struc-   the horizon.
     lar, like the eradication of insect     ture of the multilateral system.       — Dr. Hans Blix,
     pests from large areas; some less       Decisions will need to be made         IAEA Director
     visible but equally impressive,         about the assignment of new            General.
     such as the identification of new       responsibilities among its various
     water resources using isotope tech-     elements. For example, it has been
     niques and the reduction of             widely observed that the system
     atmospheric pollution through the       has no one centre for the consider-
     use of accelerator technology.          ation of energy issues. The consid-
       he IAEA is facing new reali-     techniques — in other words,           resources to the Agency is
       ties and challenges as the       where they have found a demon-         expected. This reality calls for
       world approaches the next        strated “niche”. The transfer of       more focused IAEA programmes
century. Three fundamental chal-        technology for social and eco-         and more clearly defined priori-
lenges have emerged:                    nomic development is a major           ties where the Agency’s core com-
   The first concerns the role of       function of the IAEA in its own        petencies and comparative advan-
nuclear energy for sustainable          right. New directions of the           tages are clearly established. The
development — an issue that             Agency’s technical cooperation         IAEA will have to shed itself of
embraces nuclear and radiation          programmes now put them on the         activities that are obsolete or
safety, waste disposal, the physical    path of becoming an even more          could be more efficiently imple-
protection of nuclear materials,        important vehicle for sustainable      mented by others in and outside
and measures against illegal            social and economic development.       the UN system. Better and new
nuclear trafficking. The second            The key to the use of nuclear       financing arrangements, particu-
concerns the IAEA’s ability to          energy in all its forms is safety.     larly for technical cooperation
credibly verify States’ non-prolifer-   New safety-related conventions         and for new verification tasks,
ation pledges, and its role in veri-    are in place, raising the need of      will be required. Further steps
fying future arms-control mea-          implementing them. Important           will be needed to streamline the
sures. The third concerns the role      in this respect is the need to         Agency’s structure, and to con-
of multilateralism, a challenge         accelerate practical assistance to     tinue the process of other
accentuated by the end of the           States in areas of nuclear legisla-    reforms. The aim will be to save
Cold War, and one witnessed in          tion; setting up infrastructures       resources that can go into pro-
the declining financial resources of    for radiation protection and for       gramme activities, and to provide
the UN system and other inter-          waste management and disposal;         governments with even better
governmental organizations.These        and advisory safety services for       return on their investment.
challenges point to dual needs —        nuclear operations and radiation          As we move ahead, an overrid-
for continuity and for adjustment.      and waste practices.                   ing challenge will be to make the
   Nuclear power is regarded by            The verification of nuclear         IAEA more effective, efficient,                   43
many States as having an impor-         energy’s peaceful uses contributes     and responsive to the needs of its
tant role to play in the energy mix     to international security in many      Member States. This could be
over the next few decades. With         parts of the world. It has become      achieved by avoiding a North-
the growing demand for energy           an important component of the          South divide, or other divides,
and electricity, and under the          national security profile in more      and by equal commitment by all
shadow of the greenhouse effect         than 180 States, and essential for     to the Agency’s twin objectives:
and acid rain, the nuclear power        nuclear trade. States have therefore   international cooperation for
option will continue to be              supported efforts for strengthen-      progress and consolidation of
explored or followed in many            ing the IAEA’s safeguards to pro-      international security. These are
parts of the world. The choice to       vide more comprehensive assur-         aims that are worth pursuing in
make use of it is a national deci-      ances and a more cost-effective        earnest. There are many opportu-
sion, and the Agency’s cooperative      system. It is to be hoped that they    nities, and much work, ahead in
role will be adjusted to focus on       would become party to the new          our common efforts to achieve
key areas of energy assessments         protocol to strengthen safeguards      them. —Dr. Mohamed
and nuclear power development           at the earliest possible date. Other   ElBaradei, the
with those countries who want to        developments in the verification       Agency’s Assistant
make use of it.                         field, including the emergence of      Director General
   Outside the electric power area      regional nuclear-weapon-free-          for External
as well, other applications of          zones and the Agency’s possible        Relations, &
nuclear energy are essential in         verification of nuclear disarma-       IAEA Director
many fields, including health,          ment, signal ways in which the         General-
agriculture, and hydrology. The         IAEA is challenged to contribute       Designate.
IAEA will need to focus on those        further to the world’s security
applications where the nuclear          goals.
techniques offer a comparative             In the coming years, no dra-
advantage over other available          matic increase in financial                                             IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997
                                                               MORE THAN JUST THE FAX
                                                               keeping, and financial systems.     Administrative Staff
                                                               Technical staff coordinate meet-    Information System (OASIS)
                                                               ings and use electronic mail to     — covers managerial guide-
                                                               jointly draft documents.            lines, procedures, manuals,
                                                               Managers of cooperation pro-        staff notices, and official
                                                               jects and research contracts        records. It also links to other
                                                               exchange status reports on-line     on-line services. They include
                                                               with their national partners        “country files” systems that
                                                               worldwide.                          integrate nuclear-related infor-
                                                                  Although rooted in the           mation that the Agency’s
                                                               1970s, the Internet first became    Member States report to its

                                                               popularly used in this decade.      many databases, or are accessi-
                                                               Before then, the Agency had         ble from global networks inte-
                                                               used a number of private net-       gral to programmes. One
                                                               works for exchange of electronic    recent link is the new
                                                               mail and access to a small num-     “GovAtom” service. It provides
                                                               ber of on-line databases. By        working papers of the Board of
                                  1993 the Internet was already       Governors and other restricted
                                                               eclipsing other networks for        information to authorized
                                                               electronic mail.                    users in Member States. In

                                      orld Wide Web home          To take advantage of the         addition to these outlets,
                                      pages, “e-mail”, and     power and reach of another          Member States now routinely
   44                                 databanks on the         fast-emerging Internet commu-       send information to the
                           Internet all became part of the     nications product, the World        Agency via the Internet, or
                           Agency’s “cyberspace” world of      Wide Web, the Agency started        other electronic means.
                           information services over the       its WorldAtom service in the           More library services of the
                           decade. New skills and systems      early 1990s. Today its pages are    Vienna International Centre
                           have been cultivated and devel-     accessed tens of thousands of       have also been put on-line.
                           oped to serve the growing           times monthly by scientists,        Increasingly, information
                           demands for information and         students, government officials,     about the Library’s collections
                           cost-efficiency of the Agency’s     and journalists to obtain infor-    of print and audio-visual mate-
                           governmental, public, and tech-     mation from electronic publi-       rials is available on CD-ROM
                           nical audiences. At the same        cations and periodicals, official   or in other electronic forms to
                           time, more specialized training     statements, legal agreements,       Agency staff and other users.
                           was needed to help staff to use     and conference and meeting          Also strengthened is the
                           computer applications produc-       documents. All IAEA pro-            Library’s own access to elec-
                           tively in their work and to         grammes now regularly publish       tronic sources of documents.
                           introduce them to the wonders       information about their 1300        An example is the United
                           of the “mouse” and frustrations     projects via the Internet, and      Nations Optical Disk System,
                           of “search tools” needed to navi-   on-line databases provide           which not only speeds delivery
                           gate the “Web”. Today, almost       access to nuclear power status      of UN documents, but also
                           all Agency staff have access to     information, nuclear applica-       reduces the local storage
                           electronic information services     tions, nuclear physics, and         requirements.
                           from their offices. Networks are    nuclear safety information.            The Agency’s pioneering
                           designed and planned to reach          Internet tools also were         International Nuclear
                           databases and systems needed        applied to improve or develop       Information System (INIS)
                           for specific jobs. Administrators   information services restricted     expanded its coverage in cyber-
                           access electronic travel plan-      to staff use. One important         space over the decade. In 1991,
IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997   ning, procurement bids, time-       outcome — the On-line               the INIS scope was expanded to
                                                                                                     cover environmental and eco-           (Friendly Input of                   ogy, especially as they relate to
                                                                                                     nomic aspects of non-nuclear           Bibliographic Records) has           INIS operations. National
                                                                                                     power production. By 1997,             been developed for data to be        infrastructures for computer-
                                                                                                     ninety-nine IAEA Member                sent more easily into the INIS       ized transmission and receipt
                                                                                                     States, as well as thirty-four other   database via the Internet. Now       of INIS information also were
                                                                                                     countries and organizations, par-      being upgraded is the INIS           targeted in efforts to upgrade
                                                                                                     ticipated in the INIS network.         collection of full-text informa-     electronic capabilities.
                                                                                                        The wider use of smaller,           tion from microfiche to elec-           Additionally, research and
                                                                                                     more powerful personal com-            tronic media for distribution        outreach efforts have been
                                                                                                     puters during the past ten years       on CD-ROM. Additionally,             strengthened over the decade
                                                                                                     has opened new avenues. In             INIS and its global partners         through the Agency’s extensive
                                                                                                     1991, INIS started CD-ROM              launched a Web home page in          global network for nuclear data
                                                                                                     services, and today more users         1996 to broaden awareness of         services supporting a wide vari-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     AMDIS...GNIP...VICLION...WMDB....SHIPTRAM...ITER...Country Files...NFCIS...Nuclear Fusion
                                                                                                     are accessing INIS data from           its services and of links to other   ety of nuclear physics and
                                                                                                     the compact disks than in any          nuclear information sources.         related studies. By 1997, forty-
                                                                                                     other way. A new, more power-             A frequently asked question       one developing and industrial-
FTP Services...CD-ROM...microfiche....E-MAIL...ATLAS...TALMS...Electronic Publishing...PACKTRAM...

                                                                                                     ful and flexible computer oper-        is how well developing coun-         ized countries were using the
                                                                                                     ating platform is being devel-         tries are served by the new elec-    Nuclear Data Information
                                                                                                     oped to improve connections            tronic tools and services. Over      System on line for responding
                                                                                                     with users.                            the past decade, training and        to more than four thousand
                                                                                                        Other improvements take             computer support services have       requests, almost four times as
                                                                                                     advantage of the skyrocketing          targeted important needs. Staff      many as in 1992.—based on
                                                                                                     amount of information becom-           working at INIS national cen-        reports by Jerry Barton, Claudio
                                                                                                     ing available electronically. A        tres are being trained in all        Todeschini, Ms. Wendy Bartlett,
                                                                                                     software package called FIBRE          aspects of information technol-      and Hans Lemmel.

                                                                                                      VALUE FOR MONEY
                                                                                                                hen the decade began, the Agency had          “value-added” services, and organizational
                                                                                                                fewer Member States and staff to serve.       reforms to programmes and their management.
                                                                                                                In 1986, there were 112 Member States         The Agency has initiated steps leading to lower
                                                                                                      and just over 1900 professional and support staff       overhead costs for running the organization.
                                                                                                      at headquarters, liaison offices in Geneva and          And, as noted throughout this special anniversary
                                                                                                      New York, safeguards offices in Toronto and             edition, programme adjustments were made in
                                                                                                      Tokyo, and research laboratories and centres in         response to technological developments of the
                                                                                                      Monaco, Trieste (Italy), and Seibersdorf (Austria).     Information Age and to difficult challenges ema-
                                                                                                      By 1997, fifteen further countries had joined,          nating from the changing Nuclear Age. Holding
                                                                                                      and about three hundred more staff had been             steady, however, throughout the decade was the
                                                                                                      hired, as the decade’s developments placed greater      Agency’s budget under its Member States’ policy
                                                                                                      demands on programmes and services. Many of             of zero growth for spending. In the early 1990s,
                                                                                                      these professional men and women were                   the budget was cut when cash-flow problems
                                                                                                      recruited from developing countries: by 1997,           mounted following the breakup of Soviet Union.
                                                                                                      nearly one-third of professional and higher cate-       Extra resources to fund expanded safety-related
                                                                                                      gory staff were from developing countries, a ten        and other programmes have come largely from
                                                                                                      percent increase over 1985. The representation of       the voluntary contributions of Member States
                                                                                                      women in these categories has grown as well by          and through national support programmes that
                                                                                                      approximately six percent, reaching eighteen per-       provide experts, equipment, and services to the
                                                                                                      cent in 1996. For all organizations with the UN         Agency. — Based on reports from staff in the
                                                                                                      Common System, the decade brought increasing            Agency’s Department of Administration.
                                                                                                      calls from Member States for “efficiency gains”,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 IAEA BULLETIN, 39/3/1997

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