What is the full form of IAEA and what are its functions?
IAEA stands for international atomic energy agency and it is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organisation in 1957.
Relevance of IAEA topic for UPSC exam
- IAEA acts as the UN’s nuclear watchdog and has been involved with nuclear programs of various member countries including India.
- Recently, there has been draft resolution from the IAEA members France, Britain and Germany calling on Iran to stop denying the agency access to nuclear sites and to cooperate fully and comply with the safeguards agreement and additional protocol.
- If the IAEA resolution is passed, it would raise pressure on Iran to let inspectors into the two sites where the IAEA suspects activities potentially related to developing nuclear weapons were carried out in the early 2000s.
- Under the agreement, IAEA inspectors regularly visit nuclear facilities to verify records maintained by authorities of members on the whereabouts of nuclear material under their control, to check IAEA-installed instruments and surveillance equipment, and to confirm physical inventories of nuclear material.
- These and other safeguard measures provide independent, international verification that governments are abiding by their commitments to the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
Functions of IAEA
- encourage and assist research, development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world
- establish and administer safeguards designed to ensure that such activity assisted by the Agency is not used to further any military purpose
- apply safeguards to relevant activities at the request of Member States
- apply, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international treaties, mandatory comprehensive safeguards in non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) Parties to such treaties.
Source: Reuters, IAEA website