The IAEA's Work

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sits at the heart of global governance in monitoring, aiding, and assisting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. As such, the organization provides the foremost intergovernmental forum for discussions regarding nuclear technology. As of February 2016, the IAEA comprised of 168 member states served by 2,500 professional staff from more than 100 countries. The IAEA focuses on three main pillars of work: nuclear safeguards, nuclear safety and security, and the peaceful uses of nuclear technology.


Mandated under Article III of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968), the IAEA monitors that the use of civilian nuclear technology is not diverted toward military use. The Department of Safeguards monitors the technical completeness and correctness of state declarations of nuclear use, and reports to the IAEA Board of Governors, which, in turn, reports to the United Nations (UN).

Nuclear Safety and Security

The IAEA works to promote the safe and secure use of nuclear technologies. Following the Fukushima disaster of 2011, the IAEA has refocused its efforts to effectively aid its member states in the safe use of nuclear energy. Furthermore, as a result of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, states are required to protect their nuclear materials from theft or sabotage. As a service, the IAEA offers peer review missions to assess and advise users of best practice for the safe and secure use of nuclear technology.

Peaceful Uses

As per Article III of the IAEA statute, the IAEA seeks to promote the research and development of nuclear technology, provide services and equipment to its member states, and stimulate scientific and technical exchange in the field. While nuclear energy is the most known use of peaceful nuclear technology, the IAEA also provides services for nuclear techniques dealing with water, health, biodiversity, and agriculture. Furthermore, as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be reached by 2030, the IAEA works to promote the uses of nuclear technology as part of the Atoms for Peace and Development agenda.