At the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (RevCon), U.S. Secretary of State Clinton announced President Obama’s Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), noting that the United States will contribute $50 million over five years, and challenged the international community to match that amount by the 2015 RevCon. The United States is currently working with Japan and other international partners to secure pledges that will meet this goal. Participation in this initiative signals commitment not only to the peaceful application of nuclear energy for states in compliance with their nonproliferation obligations as well as support for the IAEA and NPT, but also to advancing broader humanitarian goals.
The PUI underscores long-standing U.S. political, financial, and technical support in helping to make peaceful uses of nuclear energy available to all, and also for IAEA activities in this area. The United States contributes about 25% of the total IAEA Technical Cooperation budget, enabling more than 100 states to enjoy the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy in health, agriculture, nuclear power and other areas. Our support to PUI supplements our substantial annual contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund and other IAEA activities. The U.S. contribution to the PUI, of which more than $6 million has already been committed to projects, has been focused on four key development areas:
- Human Health: The United States is committed to helping citizens of developing countries access essential health care. The IAEA has a unique role to play, particularly through its Program of Action for Cancer Therapy, which seeks to provide nuclear-related technologies for cancer diagnosis and treatment. The U.S. PUI contribution has already funded nearly $1 million in health-related projects, including national efforts to build nuclear medicine capacities in Algeria, Jamaica, and Nigeria, and is supporting cancer assessment missions in 27 other countries.
- Food Security: $1.5 million in U.S. funds has been directed to reduce hunger and malnutrition in developing countries, which will in turn help to fuel economic development. Projects in Ethiopia, Senegal, and Burkina Faso use nuclear techniques to detect and prevent disease in livestock and control the disease-spreading tsetse fly, while work supported by the IAEA’s Monaco Marine Environment Laboratories seeks to protect seafood and marine resources from environmental threats and toxins. Additional efforts in Guatemala address the threat of fruit flies on food supplies.
- Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development: U.S. PUI funds are helping to answer Member States’ requests for assistance on how to pursue nuclear power in a responsible way. $1 million has been pledged to projects at the IAEA to support the agency’s capacity to provide such assistance. Over $1 million in U.S. PUI funds will be used to support regional projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, consisting of workshops and seminars in which more than 80 countries are expected to participate. Nearly $1 million more in U.S. PUI funds will be used to support national energy planning and to assess how nuclear power can contribute to Member State needs.
- Water Resource Management: In the first year of the PUI, U.S. contributions have been used to fund close to $1 million in water-related projects to ensure that people have access to safe drinking water and a clean marine environment. The IAEA applies nuclear techniques to explore the sustainability of fresh water supplies and to manage marine environments responsibly, beginning with pilot projects in three countries. The funding also has been used to implement a comprehensive sampling and analytical methodology to determine and trace oil pollution in marine waters supplemented by work at the Monaco Marine Environment Laboratories, as well as a project to assess the impact of climate change on coral reef systems in Indonesia.
U.S.-funded PUI projects have been selected in close collaboration with the IAEA, taking into account the needs and requests of Member States. The IAEA is now working with Member States to develop new projects that meet their needs and will be funded through PUI contributions in future years.