Vienna, 28 - 30 November 2018: This year's Ministerial Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a focus on the peaceful use of nuclear technology as a contribution to achieving the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs). Over 50 ministers and numerous other high-ranking representatives from the IAEA Member States, as well as representatives from business, research and civil society, will discuss the opportunities offered by civil nuclear applications for improving peoples' quality of life, especially in developing and emerging countries. The main topics are human health, food security, the water cycle, nuclear applications in industry and materials research, and climate protection. Germany is represented by Dr. Frank Heidrich, Deputy Head of Energy Policy at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. In his speech to the plenum, he highlighted Germany's great commitment in this area and pointed out that this important area of the IAEA's work is little or not at all known in society. He stressed that this conference is a good opportunity to raise public awareness and to focus more on the guiding principle of the IAEA „Atoms for Peace and Security“.
In this context, Dr. Heidrich announced further voluntary German contributions to the IAEA. For the renovation of the IAEA research laboratories in Seibersdorf (ReNuAL/ ReNuAL+ projects) and for an environmental project in the field of the elimination of uranium pollution in Central Asia within the framework of the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), Germany will provide almost 800,000 € in total.
During the conference, Dr. Heidrich, Ambassador Gerhard Küntzle and Mr. Dazhu Yang (Deputy Director General, IAEA) visited the exhibition space of Zeiss, a company working on solutions in the field of intra-operative radio therapy and the targeted treatment of cancer with a concentrated dose of radiation. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Mr. Thomas Reiter, German former astronaut, European Space Agency (ESA), gave short welcome speeches as guests of honour at the opening of the conference.