International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) promotes peaceful nuclear energy versus military applications, which it is against. It was established on July 29, 1957 as an independent agency, but reports to the UN and is located in Vienna, Austria, with various subsidiary offices and three laboratories.
It grew out of a proposal, initially, by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his Atoms for Peace address to the UN General Assembly. In 1954, the US proposed the formation of an international agency like the IAEA. By 1957, the Agency had taken shape.
In 1986, in response to Chernobyl, Ukraine, the IAEA made a big push in the field of nuclear safety. Former Swedish Foreign Minister Hans Blix served as Director General from 1981 to 1997, succeeded by Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt, who served until November 2009. The IAEA and its former Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 7, 2005.
Mr. Yukiya Amano of Japan was elected as Director General by the IAEA Board of Governors "by acclamation." He took office on December 1, 2009.
In 2004, the IAEA was responsible for a "Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)" intended to buttress radiotherapy treatment programs in developing countries. The IAEA has supposedly raised money from its member states to ameliorate suffering of cancer victims.
The IAEA has created programs and put in place strategic reviews to help developing countries manage nuclear power programs. The IAEA reports that 60 countries now wish to implement nuclear energy within their borders.
IAEA Member States are concerned about the potential danger of earthquakes on nuclear plants. In 2008 the IAEA established the International Seismic Safety Center, to focus on earthquake security for nuclear plants as regards site selection, evaluation and design.
From all the above, we can see that the IAEA, far from being a nuclear watchdog is mainly supposed to ENCOURAGE the propagation of nuclear power! Not only that, but one of its main competences – helping countries avoid earthquake catastrophes – is obviously not of any use with the recent Japanese nuclear meltdown.
Like so many other international bodies, the IAEA appears to be relatively dysfunctional when it comes to pursuing a safety orientation regarding nuclear power. What is has been successful in doing is propagating the concept of nuclear power to developing nations.
It turns out that the IAEA, like so many other international bodies, is mostly a Trojan Horse for Western business interests – in this case, GE and other corporations that are trying to sell nuclear power into developing countries. The IAEA is no doubt a useful adjunct in this process. It is certainly NOT an effective nuclear watchdog; but as it turns out, that's not its main mission. Encouraging the propagation of nuclear power IS.