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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was founded in 1957 as an autonomous international organisation. It reports regularly to the United Nations General Assembly and has the duty to contact the United Nations Security Council if a threat to world peace has been ascertained (IAEA Statue, Article III B 4). Germany has been a member of the IAEA since its founding year 1957 and is permanently represented on its monitoring and governing body - the IAEA Board of Governors.

Representatives from all its 168 current member states (as of February 2016) attend the IAEA's annual General Conference. The Board meets once a quarter, while the Programme and Budget Committee (PBC) and the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC) each convene every six months.

The IAEA's main focus is on nuclear power, nuclear safety and security and safeguards.

Nuclear power

The IAEA promotes the peaceful use of nuclear power at an international level by means of conferences, coordinated research contracts, databases, as well as producing comprehensive documentation and publications.

It sends in its own experts to provide developing countries with assistance, e. g. nuclear applications in the fields of medicine, water and agriculture, as well as funding scholarships and training courses, etc.

Nuclear safety and security

The IAEA supports global monitoring cooperation and harmonisation by producing safety standards and recommendations on reactor safety, radiation protection, nuclear waste management, the transportation of radioactive substances, and the security of nuclear facilities and nuclear materials. It fosters the physical protection of nuclear material against misuse, with the aim, for instance, of combatting nuclear smuggling.

The Federal Ministry for the Environment is represented on the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS), as well as on the NUSSC (nuclear safety), WASSC (waste), RASSC (radiation protection) and TRANSSC (transport) committees.

Furthermore, the German Ministry for the Environment is also involved in the Agency's development of the Nuclear Security Guidelines series.


The IAEA monitors both the use and the location of nuclear materials in nuclear facilities as per the terms of the Safeguards Agreement entered into with its member states. The aim is to ensure that the facilities monitored confine their activities solely to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Last update: 19.10.2016

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