UN nuclear agency makes progress in improving nuclear safety

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IAEA inspectors conducting verification activities on fresh nuclear fuel – IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is making steady progress in strengthening nuclear security since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan.

That's what the head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano said at the start of the agency's annual General Conference in Vienna, Austria on Monday.

In his opening statement, Mr. Amano outlined the Agency’s achievements and challenges of the past year.

He said the IAEA gives high priority to assisting developing countries through its technical cooperation programmes using nuclear technology in areas such as cancer control, food and agriculture and water management.

"The Fukushima Daiichi accident in March 2011 was a global wakeup call on nuclear safety but it was followed by unprecedented effort to strengthen nuclear safety everywhere. The 2011 general conference agreed an ambitious action plan on nuclear safety which is now being implemented. Steady progress has been made in strengthening the agency's activities in nuclear security in response to the wishes of our member states." (32")

On verifying that countries are not developing nuclear weapons, Mr. Amano said the agency "has taken a firm and objective position" on issues involving, Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Over 2,000 representatives from the 159 Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency are meeting this week at the Vienna International Centre for the five-day IAEA annual General Conference.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’55″

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