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International Atomic Energy Agency


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957, seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes. United States President Eisenhower envisioned, in his "Atoms for Peace" speech before the UN General Assembly in 1953, the creation of this international body to control and develop the use of atomic energy.

The IAEA is headquartered in Vienna, Austria (at the Vienna International Centre). The IAEA has 136 Member States. Additionally, the IAEA maintains field and liaison offices in Canada, Geneva, New York, and Tokyo, operates laboratories in Austria and Monaco and supports a research centre in Trieste, Italy that is administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The IAEA serves as an intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The IAEA's programs encourage the development of the peaceful application of nuclear technology, provide international safeguards against its misuse, and facilitate the application of safety measures in its use. IAEA expanded its nuclear safety efforts in response to the Chornobyl (Chernobyl) disaster in 1986.

The IAEA was headed by Hans Blix from 1981 to 1997. The current head of the organization is Mohamed ElBaradei.

See also: nuclear proliferation, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nuclear weapon, nuclear reactor

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