IAEA celebrates 75th anniversary of discovery of nuclear fission

The International Atomic Energy Agency recently led the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the discovery of nuclear fission, a process which changed the way the world receives energy today.

75 years ago, three scientists from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, Dr. Otto Hahn, Dr. Lise Meitner and Dr. Fritz Strassman, discovered a process by which the elements composing an atom could separate from the atom, producing exploitable energy through the process. The discovery not only changed the way the world uses energy today, but it also changed some of the technology processes in science and medicine.

"The pioneering work of Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassman was a crucial step in the long scientific journey that led to the development of nuclear technology as we understand it today," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said.

This discovery was cutting edge technology for the time. While harnessing nuclear energy can be dangerous if used to build weapons, the energy can also be used peacefully for energy, agriculture and water infrastructures.

"The IAEA gives priority to assisting developing countries in using nuclear technology in areas including health, food and agriculture, and water management," Amano said. "By making nuclear technology available, the IAEA makes a unique and lasting contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals."