Introduction to the IAEA
Headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Director General: Yukiya Amano
Mission: To promote and assist in the peaceful usage of nuclear power.
To develop and implement safety standards.
To enforce the NPT and other treaties.
The IAEA is an international, politically-independent organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear power, and inhibit the use of nuclear power for any non-peaceful reasons.
It is a body that is independent from the United Nations (unlike other organizations such as the World Health Organization, which is a Specialized Agency of the UN), and was established by its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute.
Within the TSR Model UN, however, the IAEA has observer status, giving it powers on par with other Specialized Agencies. Although it is an autonomous organization, the IAEA reports to both the General Assembly and the Security Council.
Current Primary Missions
The IAEA has many ongoing missions, which include:
•The monitoring of any nuclear developments in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (North Korea), the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, as mandated by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
•The observation of signatories to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the enforcement of the Treaty.
•The containment and monitoring of nuclear disaster sites, such as Chernobyl and Fukushima.
The Future of the IAEA
The IAEA continues to further its mission, in accordance with directions from the UN, its member states and its Statute, by assisting in, and promoting, the peaceful use of nuclear power. One of the many ways in which it does it is by designing and implementing regulations for the safe use of nuclear power.
The IAEA believes that nuclear power could be the future of energy on Earth, and hopes that, through its mission, it can make the peaceful use of nuclear power every more safe, and widespread.
A key area of interest that the IAEA is watching closely, is the development of the ITER nuclear fusion reactor, which is currently under construction in France. Nuclear fusion is much safer than nuclear fission (which is was all current nuclear power plants use), as the amount of radioactive material produced is far less.
The ITER reactor aims to be a model for making nuclear fusion viable as a power source, by being the first fusion reactor to output more power than is inputted to run it (that is, the first fusion reactor to have a positive efficiency!). The IAEA will be developing standards for the safe running of all future non-experimental nuclear fusion reactors. The ITER reactor should be operational by 2020.