IAEA Current Affairs - 2019
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The 27th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The six-day event is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research.
The aim of FEC 2018 was to provide forum for discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion (reaction that powers Sun and stars) as a source of energy. During this conference, experts from across the world discussed innovative concepts on using nuclear fusion as source of energy. They also discussed new challenges being faced by fusion community in the light of a number of next-step fusion devices being implemented currently. Among participants included international bodies like ITER Organisation and European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The research institutes involved in developing smaller plasma devices also participated.
India has decided to place four more reactors under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. It was announced Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) at 62nd General Conference of IAEA held in Vienna, Austria. The four reactors include two Russian-designed Pressurised Light Water Reactors and two Pressurised Heavy Reactors being built with Indian technology. With this, total of 26 Indian nuclear facilities will be now under IAEA safeguards.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
IAEA is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. It was established as an autonomous organization in 1957 through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute. Its headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. IAEA serves as international nuclear energy watchdog, independent of United Nations but reports to both United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Security Council (UNSC).
They are system of inspection and verification of peaceful uses of nuclear materials as part of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). These safeguards mainly reiterates primacy to IAEA in its central role in promotion of atomic energy for peaceful uses and prosperity of the mankind while maintaining its due support in safeguards. IAEA safeguards activities are undertaken by Department of Safeguards, a separate department within IAEA.
Legal framework of safeguards: Information Circular 66 (INFCIRC 66), an agreement between IAEA and member states provides for conduct of limited safeguards within member state. Under it, member states identifies facilities that are made available for IAEA Safeguards inspection. Besides, Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), 1968 requires signatories to become members of IAEA and non-nuclear weapons states conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements under INFCIRC 153.