Timeline

1953

Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ speech, UN General Assembly
President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, addresses the United Nations General Assembly and calls for the creation of an international atomic energy agency to serve the peaceful uses of the atom.

1957

First IAEA General Conference, Konzerthaus, Vienna
The first meeting of the IAEA General Conference convenes at the Konzerthaus, Vienna, October 1957.
The American Congressman William Sterling Cole is elected the IAEA’s first Director General.

1961

IAEA Seibersdorf laboratories open
The IAEA Seibersdorf laboratories opened in 1961. Today, the Seibersdorf laboratories house the nuclear application and nuclear safeguards analytical laboratories.
Also in 1961, the Swedish scientist Sigvard Eklund is elected the IAEA's second Director General.

1964

Joint FAO/IAEA Division established
Established in 1964, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division works to develop the uses of nuclear applications for the production of food. 

1970

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty enters into force
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) enters into force on 5 March 1970. The NPT requires all non-nuclear weapon states party to the treaty to agree on nuclear safeguards agreements with the IAEA.

1971

Comprehensive safeguards (INFCIRC/153)
The establishment of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements (formulated by IAEA document INFCIRC/153) enabled states to meet their nuclear safeguards commitments under the NPT.

1979

IAEA moves to the Vienna International Centre
In 1979, the IAEA moved into its current home, the Vienna International Centre.

1981

Hans Blix elected IAEA Director General
Swedish diplomat Hans Blix is elected the IAEA’s third Director General.

1986

The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
On 26 April 1986, reactor number four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, suffered a catastrophic power increase that led to an explosion of its core. The accident at Chernobyl initiated the process towards the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

1991

Iraq Action Team
In response to United Nations Security Council resolution 687, the IAEA created the Iraq Action Team responsible for implementing nuclear inspections within the country. 

1993

Report to the UN Security Council on the DPRK
On 1 April 1993, the IAEA declares that the DPRK is not adhering to its safeguards agreement and that it cannot guarantee that all nuclear material in the country is in use exclusively for peaceful purposes. The DPRK withdrew its membership of the IAEA in 1994.

1997

Mohamed ElBaradei becomes Director General
Mohamed ElBaradei is elected the IAEA's new Director General.
Also in 1997, IAEA document INFCIRC/540 establishes the Model Additional Protocol (AP), providing the IAEA with additional nuclear safeguards inspection capabilities. The AP was created due to criticism that the IAEA had failed to detect nuclear materials outside of peaceful use in Iraq.

2003

Report to UN Security Council on Iraq
On 14 February 2003, IAEA Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, reported to the United Nations Security Council that the IAEA had no evidence of a resumption of the Iraqi nuclear program. This contradicted assertions by the United States and the United Kingdom in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in March of the same year.  

2005

IAEA and Mohamed ElBaradei receive the Noble Peace Prize
In 2005, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the IAEA and Mohamed ElBaradei "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way."

2009

Yukiya Amano elected IAEA Director General
Former Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors, Yukiya Amano from Japan, is elected the IAEA’s fifth Director General.

2015

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
On 14 July 2015, the United States, China, Russian Federation, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany signed an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure that the latters nuclear program remained exclusively peaceful.


© Copyright pictures: IAEA Imagebank.