National

IAEA labs' new facilities near Vienna to be named after late chief Amano

Kyodo

The International Atomic Energy Agency plans to name its new facilities at existing laboratories near Vienna after former chief Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat who died in July in the middle of his third four-year term, members of the IAEA board of governors said Monday.

The new facilities at the laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria, will focus on ways to apply nuclear technology in fields such as agriculture, and will start operating next spring. The naming plan is set to be formally adopted at the IAEA’s annual general meeting from Sept. 16.

The new addition to the laboratories in Seibersdorf will carry Amano’s name “to reflect his distinguished service to the agency and outstanding personality,” the official account of the German mission to the Vienna-based IAEA wrote in a tweet.

In Tokyo, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday that the Japanese government will contribute €1 million (¥118 million) to the IAEA laboratories to honor the achievements of Amano.

“We hope that the will and achievements of Amano, who proposed ‘Atoms for Peace and Development,’ will be inherited for a long time,” Kono told a news conference.

The money will be used to renovate facilities working to apply nuclear technology, including irradiation, to pest control and other agricultural issues, the government said.

The former IAEA director general pushed to add development to the agency’s objectives, the wording of which was then revised to “Atoms for Peace and Development,” and worked to support developing countries.

Renovations of existing laboratories as well as the construction of the new ones are part of projects to meet that objective, according to the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Amano, who became the first Asian person to be elected to the post in 2009, worked to address the Iran nuclear issue as well as to strengthen the watchdog’s oversight of North Korea’s nuclear program.

He also sought to improve the safety of nuclear power plants following the nuclear disaster in 2011 at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.