The IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative and the NPT
At the May 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton announced President Obama’s IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI). To emphasize long-standing and broad support for the IAEA’s mission to provide access to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the PUI’s aim is to expand support for these activities by $100 million before the 2015 NPT Review Conference. At the 2010 Review Conference, NPT Parties welcomed this support and encouraged states in a position to do so to contribute.
Secretary Clinton announced a U.S. pledge of $50 million to this effort. Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, New Zealand, Hungary, and the Czech Republic also are contributing. PUI donor states will continue to work with all NPT Parties to encourage further contributions and to make the Initiative a key part of cooperation on peaceful uses pursuant to Article IV of the NPT.
The U.S. Contribution:
The U.S. contribution to the PUI builds on its long-standing political, financial, and technical support for IAEA efforts to ensure safe and secure access to peaceful nuclear applications. Since the 2010 NPT Review Conference, U.S. PUI contributions have funded more than $16 million in IAEA projects that benefit more than 100 IAEA Member States. This funding is in addition to the large U.S. share of overall contributions to the IAEA Technical Cooperation Fund (28.7% in 2011).
This support reflects the U.S. commitment to IAEA programs that advance human development goals by helping states address human health issues, manage water resources, ensure food safety and security, and build the human infrastructure to pursue nuclear power safely and securely. This is also a key element of U.S. support for a strong nuclear nonproliferation regime. Just a few of the dozens of IAEA projects funded through U.S. contributions to the PUI are described below. Some of these projects have also received important support from other states.
- Support for IAEA Program of Action for Cancer Therapy: U.S. contributions have funded expert missions to assess national capabilities to detect and treat cancer in 28 countries worldwide. These missions develop plans for strengthening these capabilities in close cooperation with national authorities.
- Ensuring Food Security in Africa and Food Safety in Latin America: U.S. PUI contributions are being used to develop regional veterinary laboratories in Africa, building and improving capacities to detect transboundary animal diseases. Such diseases put at risk food supplies and local economies, in addition to having human health implications. The IAEA aims to expand the network of such laboratories within Africa and into Asia. In Latin America, U.S. contributions to the PUI have supported similar efforts to build laboratory capacity to ensure food safety.
- Developing Nuclear Power Infrastructure: U.S. PUI funds are helping Member States to pursue nuclear power in a responsible way. In addition to regional workshops in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and specific national projects, PUI contributions support IAEA legislative assistance to states considering nuclear power. This support enables IAEA missions to assess and enhance individual Member State capacities, as well as the development of legislative guidance documents and e-learning platforms.
- Management of Water Resources: The IAEA helps states to explore, map, and manage underground water resources to facilitate their sustainable use. U.S. PUI contributions have supported efforts in Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Oman to identify gaps in national hydrological data and to strengthen the components of national capacity necessary to address those gaps. Ultimately, isotope techniques will be used comprehensively to assess water resources, developing methods that can be applied to other states in the future.
Each of these projects – and the many other projects supported by the PUI – demonstrates the unique role of the IAEA in applying nuclear techniques to these problems. A strong nonproliferation regime and a strong NPT provide a critical foundation for IAEA programs, and the programs in turn help to implement Article IV of the NPT and to strengthen the regime. The United States will continue to work with NPT Parties and the IAEA to support these projects and to identify additional Member State priorities that can be supported through the Peaceful Uses Initiative.