Along with an examination of the state of worldwide nuclear-related developments last year, the IAEA Annual Report 2014 provides a comprehensive look at the Agency’s activities over the course of the year. From coordinating 125 research projects to conducting 2114 nuclear verification inspections worldwide, the IAEA’s 2560 employees continued to work on a wide range of areas to meet the evolving needs of Member States. The Annual Report, published in August, will be discussed and endorsed at the IAEA’s General Conference in September.
Serving 162 Member States, two more than the year before, the IAEA’s activities in 2014 focused on the following areas, in line with its mandate:
- Nuclear Energy: The IAEA assisted Member States in the introduction of nuclear power programmes and in the efficient and safe use of nuclear energy, fostering innovation and building capability in energy planning, analysis, and nuclear information and knowledge management.
- Nuclear Sciences and Applications: The IAEA continued to assist Member States in building, strengthening and maintaining capacities in the safe, peaceful and secure use of nuclear technology.
- Nuclear Safety and Security: The IAEA and its Member States continued to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide, including through the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which had been endorsed by the General Conference in 2011 after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant earlier that year. The IAEA also supported States, upon request, in their efforts to achieve effective security wherever nuclear and other radioactive materials are in use.
- Nuclear Verification: The IAEA implemented safeguards in 180 States and as at the end of every year, it drew conclusions for each State for which safeguards were applied.
- Technical Cooperation: The IAEA assisted Member States in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and in preparation for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Technical cooperation projects provide expertise in fields where nuclear techniques offer advantages over other approaches, or where they can successfully supplement conventional approaches.
The IAEA had 342 million euros in regular budget funding in 2014, while its extrabudgetary expenditures totalled 68.3 million euros.
Highlights mentioned in the Annual report include:
- The IAEA published several new guidance materials for countries considering to introduce nuclear power programmes. Four new e-learning modules on the IAEA’s ‘Milestones’ approach to nuclear power were launched, bringing to 11 the number of modules in this series available on iaea.org by the end of the year.
- More systematic training approaches were used in the nuclear field globally, helping to ensure succession and knowledge management, concluded participants of the International Conference on Human Resource Development for Nuclear Power Programmes.
- The International Symposium on Uranium Raw Material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle highlighted new initiatives such as innovative financing and the use of advanced technologies in ‘smart mines’, and the need for increased attention to stakeholder engagement.
Nuclear Sciences and Applications
- As part of the IAEA’s effort to meet growing Member State needs, the Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) project began on 1 January, 2014. Following completion of the feasibility study in February, the strategic plan for the project was issued in May, and conceptual designs for the new buildings were completed in November. A donor package providing detailed information on the project and its requirements was made available to Member States last December.
- Against the background of outbreaks of avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 and other animal diseases that can spread to humans, the IAEA established the VetLab network of animal diagnostic laboratories in Africa to intensify its work on the early detection of zoonotic diseases. It also sent early detection kits to West Africa during the Ebola virus outbreak.
Nuclear Safety and Security
- As part of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, the IAEA organized two international expert meetings in 2014. The discussions at the International Experts Meeting on Radiation Protection after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Promoting Confidence and Understanding dealt with the releases of radioactive material to the environment, managing the impact of these radioactive releases, international standards and communication. The International Experts Meeting on Severe Accident Management in the Light of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant considered the lessons learned and further actions to be taken to strengthen severe accident management arrangements.
- Over the year, 12 States ratified, accepted or approved the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), moving this important instrument on strengthening nuclear security closer to entry into force.
- Two additional protocols entered into force bringing the total number to 124 as of the end of the year.
- The IAEA continued the modernization of Safeguards’ analytical laboratories, information technology and surveillance systems. These efforts address the increasing verification workload due to the growth in both the number of nuclear facilities and the quantity of nuclear material under safeguards.
Technical Cooperation for Development