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[en] The IAEA crowdsourcing challenge was aimed at encouraging innovation in design and operations to achieve cost-effective and efficient implementation of smart solutions. The IAEA has selected the five best entries from its crowdsourcing challenge, which sought original concepts and project outlines for advancing the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and environmental remediation of radiologically contaminated sites. Three of these entries focused on decommissioning and two on environmental remediation. The entries included characterization toolkits, instruments used for field measurements and to collect 3D radiation data, and robots that use artificial intelligence. The young people who submitted the entries come from all over the world and share an enthusiasm for novel approaches and strategies to make work in these fields safer, faster and more cost effective.
[en] Held virtually today on the sidelines of the 64th IAEA General Conference, the first ever IAEA meeting discussing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for nuclear applications showcased the ways in which AI-based approaches in nuclear science can benefit human health, water resource management and nuclear fusion research. Open to the public, the event gathered over 300 people from 43 countries and launched a global dialogue on the potential of AI for nuclear science and the related implications of its use, including ethics and transparency. AI refers to a collection of technologies that combine numerical data, process algorithms and continuously increasing computing power to develop systems capable of tracking complex problems in ways similar to human logic and reasoning. AI technologies can analyse large amounts of data to “learn” how to complete a particular task, a technique called machine learning.
[en] A new partnership will enable the IAEA to better help low and middle income countries provide increased access to early detection and treatment of paediatric cancer. Under the cooperation agreement with Childhood Cancer International (CCI), signed in early June 2018, CCI and the IAEA will work together to provide specialized training for professionals working in paediatrics, increase awareness and mobilize resources to benefit children with cancer in IAEA Member States.
[en] Poverty, hunger, human health, clean water, affordable and clean energy, industry and innovation, and climate change are areas in which the IAEA has been working for 60 years. An overview of some of the ways the IAEA helps Member States in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is presented. Because the SDGs are interlinked, the IAEA’s work also contributes to Member States’ efforts in reducing poverty by controlling animal and plant diseases (SDG1), improving education by giving support to schools and offering training courses, fellowships and expert visits (SDG4), fostering gender equality by promoting women staff recruitment and science and technical education for girls and women (SDG5), and furthering peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16) by providing legal and regulatory advice, among others.
[en] Technology and scientific innovation are essential for development. Nuclear applications offer enormous benefits in many areas of our lives, including health, agriculture, food production and energy generation, as well as in many sectors of industry. The IAEA is uniquely equipped to help Member States to use nuclear technology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our Atoms for Peace and Development motto summarises our mission, which is to ensure that nuclear technology is used only for peaceful purposes and to help Member States use this remarkable technology to improve the well-being and prosperity of their people. Transferring nuclear technology to developing countries is core IAEA business and one of the most important areas of our work.
[en] The IAEA has launched a new digital platform focusing on workforce planning, leadership, training, stakeholder involvement and human performance to support countries operating nuclear power plants and those considering or developing new nuclear power programmes. The Nuclear Energy Capacity Building Hub allows registered users to join proactive communities of practice for information sharing, capacity building and networking.
[en] For all States with a comprehensive safeguards agreement in force, the IAEA seeks to verify that all nuclear material remains in peaceful activities. It achieves this through the application of technical measures known as safeguards. The new passive gamma emission tomography (PGET) tool will enable the IAEA to verify the number of fuel rods — or pins — in spent nuclear fuel assemblies. Unlike other tools used for verifying the content of spent nuclear fuel, such as the digital Cerenkov viewing device and the spent fuel attribute tester, the PGET tool can also confirm the absence of missing pins from a spent fuel assembly in a closed container. This is very useful for applying safeguards at nuclear power plants, underwater storage facilities and encapsulation plants at geological repositories.
[en] Nuclear technology improves the lives of millions of people worldwide in energy, health care, industry, farming and many other areas. But nuclear and other radioactive material inevitably draws malevolent interest from terrorists and other criminals. In this time of uncertainty, with conflict and tensions in many regions, it is vital that such material is protected from falling into the wrong hands. Only in this way can we ensure that the great benefits of nuclear technology for peace and development are sustainable. The IAEA is the focal point for international cooperation in nuclear security. We help countries to provide effective physical protection for nuclear and other radioactive material and to put the necessary systems, laws and regulations in place. Our guidance helps countries to prevent, detect and respond to malicious acts involving radioactive substances and ensure that people and the environment are protected as well as humanly possible. The IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts to be held from 10–14 February 2020 is an important opportunity for ministers, policymakers, senior officials and experts to discuss current approaches and priorities for nuclear security. This edition of the IAEA Bulletin provides an overview of our work in this field. You can learn how Senegal worked with the IAEA to develop an Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan to strengthen its national nuclear security regime, and how Romania made use of IAEA support in nuclear forensics against criminals who were using radioactive materials illicitly.
[en] Leadership for nuclear safety and the development of a strong safety culture within organizations requires creating a space for open and meaningful discussions between nuclear professionals with different backgrounds, said participants of the School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety, held in Ankara, Turkey from 22 April to 3 May 2019. Safety leadership is particularly important in nuclear and radiological work environments, in both routine and emergency situations, owing to their inherent complexities. The IAEA’s school on leadership for safety helps early- to mid-career nuclear and radiation professionals develop the skills they need to lead for safety throughout their careers. A total of 29 professionals from regulatory bodies, nuclear operators and technical organizations from 14 countries participated in the course. They analysed case studies, conducted exercises, took part in discussions and listened to invited experts’ presentations on nuclear and radiation safety, including emergency preparedness. The course was held in the framework of an IAEA technical cooperation project on enhancing capacity building activities in European nuclear and radiation safety organizations for the safe operation of facilities.
[en] Over 250 nuclear industry leaders, regulators, researchers, government representatives and technology providers have issued a ‘call to action’ to accelerate the use of innovative solutions to sustain and advance the current operational fleet of nuclear power plants (NPPs) around the world. The ‘call to action’ emphasizes the four innovations identified by the participants of the three-day Global Forum on Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy, co-organized by the IAEA and held from 10 to 12 June in Gyeongju, the Republic of Korea. The key goal of the event was to tackle the most urgent challenges facing the nuclear sector and to examine barriers and opportunities for deploying innovative technological and process solutions to maintain or even enhance nuclear safety while reducing costs. For this, the participants highlighted 28 innovations related to various aspects of operating the current NPP fleet, topped by the following four: 1. Digital twinning (the virtual recreation of a process into a computer-based model) to improve NPP performance and to reduce costs; 2. Advanced manufacturing, including 3D printing, to address supply chain challenges; 3. Machine learning to make better use of the big data already available in the nuclear power sector for optimizing maintenance; and 4. Using more innovative frameworks for information exchange, to share data on research and development, operations and maintenance.