IAEA labs need updating to keep up with member state demands

International Atomic Energy Agency laboratories and the equipment within the labs must be updated to keep up with the growing demand of the agency's member states, an IAEA official said on Tuesday.

Daud Mohamad, the deputy director-general of the IAEA's Departments of Nuclear Science and Applications, made the statement during a visit to the agency's Seibersdorf, Austria-based labs by ambassadors and other diplomats of European Union countries and senior European Commission staff. During the meeting, Mohamad and Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA deputy director for the Department of Safeguards, explained how the labs contribute to the agency's mission of helping to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons while supporting peaceful nuclear development.

The IAEA said member state officials and scientists must work closely together to further the work of the laboratories.

"After more than 50 years of service, the nuclear science and applications laboratories continue to support member states in utilizing nuclear sciences and application for peaceful purposes," Mohamad said. "Looking ahead, however, we need to update the facilities and the equipment to be able to respond to the ever changing global challenges and meet the member states' growing demands."

Peter Farros, the deputy director general of the EC's Directorate General for Energy, said the IAEA must continue to enhance its scientific capabilities.

"If the agency lags behind member states, it can no longer do its job," Farros said.