Skip to main content

Hat in Hand? The IAEA Talks Money Woes

051007_elbaradei_vmed_4a.widecIf everything is timing, now was not the right time for the International Atomic Energy Agency to start a fundraising effort:

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief urged 145 member states on Monday to come to grips with an IAEA funding crisis undermining its ability to prevent nuclear proliferation threats.

Opening the IAEA's annual assembly, Mohamed ElBaradei called for urgent steps to increase funding of the U.N. watchdog, modernise equipment and enhance its legal authority to verify the nature of nuclear programmes in suspect countries.

In case you think ElBaradei might be unwilling to raise the rhetoric to alarming levels:

"It would be a tragedy of epic proportions if we fail to act (for lack of resources) until after a nuclear conflagration, accident or terrorist attack that could have been prevented."

Yes, that certainly would be a tragedy, wouldn't it? While we don't want to suggest even for an instant that the IAEA shouldn't be funded to a reasonable level - the U.N. put it charge of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty - we suspect it might be pushing apocalypse in the face of a uncomfortable financial environment. (And remember, ElBaradei was talking to the membership, not you and me. Putting statements like that out to the public would qualify as fantastically inflammatory, nuclear conflagration or not.)

He urged IAEA members to accept the recommendation of an independent commission for an 80 million euro injection to modernise IAEA labs and emergency response abilities and a gradual doubling of the budget by 2020.

The IAEA's budget now is about 340 million euros, which ElBaradei has called penny-pinching.

We guess 340 million euros (or 420 million euros if you merge the two amounts given) is not so much spread among 145 member nations, though it'll be interesting to see if there's some pushback and what form it might take. We found some stories about individual conflicts between members - see here, for example - but nothing suggesting a ruction with the entity or ElBaradei.

How the assembly goes should indicate how the IAEA proceeds - and who pledges some funds or comes up with reasons not to - so let's wait and see.

Mohamed ElBaradei - that's the IAEA logo behind him. He and the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for ratcheting down nuclear tensions in North Korea and Iran. There might have been an anti-U.S. bias here, as the Bush administration did not want ElBaradei to continue in another term after the latter "failed" to contain Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Someone ended up a little egg-faced and it wasn't ElBaradei.

Comments

OmegaPaladin said…
The IAEA is worthless. Like most international institutions, it is only capable of keeping the good countries in line.
Anonymous said…
ElBaradei has been extremely critical of the US in relation to Iran. Now, they are asking for more money? I would tell him to pack sand.

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?