International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Logo International Atomic Energy Agency

The IAEA is the world's centre for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology and was set up as the world’s "Atoms for Peace" organization within the United Nations family in 1957. As an independent international organization related to the United Nations system, the IAEA´s relationship with the UN is regulated by special agreement.

The organization’s mandate consists of promoting safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. Three main areas of work underpin the IAEA's mission: Safety and Security; Safeguards and Verification; Science and Technology.

  • Under its nuclear safety programme, the IAEA develops nuclear safety and security standards, including for the design and operation of nuclear installations, the transport of radioactive materials and the management of radioactive waste.
  • The IAEA assists its Member States in using nuclear science and technology for various peaceful purposes, such as electricity generation, water management and medical, agricultural and industrial applications, and facilitates the transfer of such knowledge to developing Member States.
  • Through its safeguards activities the IAEA seeks to verify that States comply with their international commitments to use nuclear material and facilities only for peaceful purposes in order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

The IAEA sustains research centres and scientific laboratories in Vienna and Seibersdorf, Austria; Monaco; and Trieste, Italy as well as regional safeguards offices in Tokyo, Japan and Toronto, Canada.

IAEA programmes and budgets are set through decisions of its policymaking bodies - the 35-member Board of Governors and the General Conference of all Member States. The IAEA reports annually to the UN General Assembly and, when appropriate, to the Security Council.

Austria’s interests regarding the IAEA are primarily nuclear safety and radiation protection as well as safeguards against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Austria ascribes considerable importance to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, and expressly supports the Agency’s integrated monitoring system.