IAEA highlights nuclear technology in daily life

25 April 2017

Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), spoke yesterday about the "remarkable contribution" nuclear applications make to "so many areas of our lives" at the opening of the agency's first International Conference on Radiation Science and Technology (ICARST 2017). The event is being held this week at the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna.

Amano said nuclear applications range from the disinfection of cultural heritage artefacts, to developing new food packaging materials, treating sewage, inspecting oil and gas pipelines and sterilising human tissue grafts used in surgery.

A key role of the agency is to make nuclear science and technology available to developing countries as they pursue their development goals in human health, agriculture, industry, energy, natural resource management and many other areas, he said. Developing countries however are not, he added, "simply passive recipients of technologies created and shared by their developed partners". Many developing countries have acquired high levels of expertise in nuclear science and technology and they use this expertise "to innovate for their own benefit, but also share it with other developing countries", he said.

The IAEA has a special focus on capacity-building and "we help countries to build up a solid body of well-trained specialists in radiation technology who can pass on their expertise to future generations," he said.

It is also the forum for international cooperation in ensuring that nuclear and other radioactive materials are "used safely and that people and the environment are protected from harm". He added: "Just as importantly, we help countries to put in place effective security procedures so that nuclear and other radioactive materials do not fall into the hands of terrorists."

ICARST 2017 is expected to bring together around 600 international experts and participants from both the private and public sectors to discuss the latest developments in a wide range of applications of radiation science and technology. In addition, around 50 exhibitors are showcasing the latest equipment and services related to radiation science and technology.

"It is high time that such an event took place to highlight the remarkable contribution which nuclear applications make in so many areas of our lives," Amano said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News