IAEA secures funding for new lab building

03 October 2017

Contributions totalling €4.7 million ($5.5 million) from Germany, Japan, Norway and the USA will enable the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to complete construction of a new laboratory building at Seibersdorf, Austria. The Flexible Modular Laboratory (FML) will support global health and development.

The four countries announced their additional financial pledges after Director-General Yukiya Amano last month informed the IAEA board of governors that these extra-budgetary funds were urgently required to keep construction of the new building on schedule.

The USA and Germany pledged €3.1 million and €1 million, respectively, on 18 September. Norway pledged €100,000 on 29 September. Japan announced today that it would contribute €1 million, providing the remaining funds required to reach the €4.7 million target and ensuring full funding for construction of the FML building.

The enabling works and basic ground engineering work for FML were carried out at the end of last year, with excavation work starting in late April this year. The building will house laboratories working on food and environmental protection, as well as soil and water management and crop nutrition.

Construction of the FML - expected to be completed by the end of 2018 - is part of a wider project called ReNuAL and the follow-up ReNuAL+ to renovate and modernise all of the IAEA's eight laboratories in Seibersdorf, about 35 kilometres south-east of Vienna. These laboratories assist countries in using nuclear science and technology to achieve their development goals.

In total, the IAEA has raised almost €32 million in extra-budgetary funds from different donors, including 31 member states, for the nuclear application laboratories. After the latest pledges, the IAEA has raised enough to complete all new construction planned under the modernisation initiatives.

Amano said, "The modernisation of the nuclear applications laboratories is one of the most important projects ever undertaken by the Agency. The benefits will be felt by member states for decades to come, and I thank all donors who contributed to this important effort."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News