The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established in 1957 to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to global peace, health and prosperity, while safeguarding against nuclear proliferation. Australia was one of eight countries that envisaged the formation of the IAEA and it continues to play an active role in the Agency, including as the designated member from the South East Asia and the Pacific group on the Board of Governors.
Australia contributes to the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme by paying in full our share to the Technical Cooperation Fund and through voluntary contributions under the Peaceful Uses Initiative. Australia also provides significant in-kind contributions by hosting workshops and visiting fellows and scientists; and providing experts for IAEA-related projects and missions, particularly in our region through the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology in Asia and the Pacific.
Australia collaborates closely with the IAEA in the development of safety standards for nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety. Australia is the IAEA’s principal partner in implementing nuclear security work in South-East Asia and has contributed over $2 million to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund.
The University of Western Australia and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) cooperate with the IAEA on the analysis of environmental samples collected by safeguards inspectors. These analyses allow the IAEA to draw conclusions on whether a State is complying with its safeguards obligations. Through safeguards, the IAEA is able to provide credible assurances that States are honouring their international obligations to use nuclear material only for peaceful purposes.