Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology: a powerful tool for a better world

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does more than offer a foundation to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. It is also a powerful instrument to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science, and technology around the world.

Since the NPT came into force more than 50 years ago, cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear technology has grown tremendously. Today, thanks to the framework provided by Article IV of the NPT, peaceful nuclear applications are improving the lives of people around the world. The widespread and diverse benefits of peaceful uses of science are an enormous success of the NPT and the nuclear nonproliferation regime.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a key facilitator in the development and delivery of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology. The United States is by far the largest contributor to IAEA peaceful use programs, providing more than $395 million since 2015, including more than $93 million to its Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), established in 2010 to attract additional funding and support projects that expand and complement the IAEA’s technical assistance activities.

Contributions to the Peaceful Uses Initiative have enhanced the capabilities of more than 150 IAEA Member States to promote human health, water resource management, food security, sustainable development, and clean energy while responding to emerging and unanticipated needs.

Nuclear technology plays a pivotal role in addressing the world’s energy, health, and agricultural needs. Nuclear innovation is also a key tool used to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals — a series of 17 global objectives established as a “blueprint” for a more sustainable future. Since the UN’s announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the IAEA has made use of the resources provided by the Peaceful Uses Initiative to target critical development needs globally.

Listed below are a few of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that U.S. contributions to the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PIU) have supported:

Sustainable Development Goal #13: Protecting the Environment

Graphic text against a dark green background: "Since 2010, U.S. PUI contributions of $37 million to the IAEA have helped address climate change. #13: Climate action."

U.S. contributions in support of the PUI have funded regional projects to better understand the effects of climate change. Researchers use nuclear and isotopic techniques to collect data and monitor how climate change affects the environment and to identify sources of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to helping countries understand and adapt to the effects of climate change, the IAEA promotes nuclear power as a source of low-carbon energy and an important tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable Development Goal #14: Marine Conservation

Graphic text against a blue background: "Since 2010, U.S. PUI contributions of $16 million to the IAEA have supported the ocean and marine conservation. #14: Life below water.

Nuclear technology is used to trace pollution and harmful algal blooms in marine waters, evaluate the causes of coastal dead zones, monitor marine environmental effects, and promote global actions against ocean acidification. The U.S strongly supports the IAEA’s efforts to conserve ocean, sea, and marine resources.

The United States is committed to advancing innovation and international cooperation in the field of nuclear science and technology through the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative and in direct support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will continue to uphold the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear nonproliferation regime that enables nuclear technology to improve the lives of so many people throughout the world.

U.S. Department of State, 16 August 2022. Full Article.

  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: