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Reaffirming America's Commitment to the Peaceful Use of the Atom

September 19, 2011 - 5:03pm

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Secretary Chu meets with officials during a visit to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Incident and Emergency Center in Vienna. | Photo Courtesy of IAEA.

Secretary Chu meets with officials during a visit to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Incident and Emergency Center in Vienna. | Photo Courtesy of IAEA.

Secretary Chu is in Vienna, Austria as he leads the United States delegation to the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations organization dedicated to the safe and peaceful use of the atom and preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism around the world.

This morning he delivered an address to delegates from more than 150 countries in which he outlined the progress the United States is making, along with our parters, in meeting President Obama's bold commitment to securing loose and vulnerable nuclear materials around the world within four years. He pledged continued U.S. leadership on nuclear safety in the wake of the Fukushima disaster while reaffirming the important role that nuclear power must play as the world confronts the challenge of climate change and the need for carbon free energy sources. He also discussed Iran's pattern of "denial, deceit and evasion" over the nature of its nuclear program and said that Iran faces deepening isolation unless the country lives up to its nonproliferation obligations. Secretary Chu's full remarks are available for download in our archive.

Yesterday, Secretary Chu toured the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Center (IEC) in Vienna, which is the focal point for IAEA's global emergency management activities. Most recently, The IEC played a significant role in the IAEA's response to the events at Fukushima Dai'ichi.

As part of the United States' commitment to safe, peaceful uses of the atom, the Department of Energy has provided video teleconferencing equipment, response equipment (for the IAEA to loan to countries), training, and technical support to the IEC. Some of the equipment provided by the United States has helped with nuclear safety and security monitoring at major events such as the Beijing Olympics, World Cup Games in South Africa, and the upcoming PanAm Games in Mexico.

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