Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nuclear Solutions to Today's Problems Energy, Climate Change, Food Security and Health Shape Nuclear Future

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Nuclear Solutions to Today's Problems

Energy, Climate Change, Food Security and Health Shape Nuclear Future 

Each year the IAEA reports on the progress and challenges faced in the previous 12 months. Last year, "the Agency devoted particular attention to assisting Member States in meeting their energy needs, responding to concerns about climate change, helping to ensure food security and access to clean water, and improving health care through the use of nuclear techniques," notes the Annual Report 2009, which covers all aspects of the Agency´s work.

The IAEA helps its Member States in a number of disciplines: IAEA scientists develop crops that can thrive in today´s increasingly adverse climatic conditions, strengthen our ability to improve childhood nutrition and maternal health, bolster the environmental sustainability of land use and energy production, provide more robust tools in the fight against communicable diseases and help fight cancer in the developing world. While highlighting the many benefits derived from such activities, the Technical Cooperation Report for 2009 also examines how the Agency´s Technical Cooperation Programme contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, among other activities.
As the use of nuclear technology continues to spread around the world, the 2009 Nuclear Safety Review covers issues relating to the development and application of internationally-recognized nuclear safety standards, protecting nuclear facilities from natural disasters, worker safety, disused radioactive sources, and the global population´s increasing exposure to ionizing radiation as a result of medical diagnostic procedures.
"The year 2008 was paradoxical for nuclear power. Projections of future growth were revised upwards, but no new reactors were connected to the grid. It was the first year since 1955 without at least one new reactor coming on-line. There were, however, ten construction starts, the most since 1985." That snapshot of the global nuclear power sector is found in the Nuclear Technology Review 2009. The Review explores the evolving state of nuclear power plant construction worldwide as well as areas where nuclear and isotopic techniques are making valuable contributions to socioeconomic development, such as water resource management, food security, human health, and environmental protection.
Finally, the Safeguards Statement for 2009 provides insight into how the safeguards agreements, in force in 170 countries, are implemented.

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