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UN Atomic Agency Funds Anti-Terrorism, Not Safety

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Nine months after the worst nuclear disaster in decades, the world’s atomic-energy watchdog has yet to dedicate additional money to improve reactor safety.

The delay has prompted the U.S. to call for the International Atomic Energy Agency to prepare a budget for its so-called action plan and to clarify how it will respond to future nuclear emergencies. The United Nations-funded agency said the allocation will be determined after a team draws up the “main activities associated with the action plan,” according to a Dec. 5 statement to Bloomberg News. Money wasn’t included in the IAEA’s budget agreed to in September.

The agency classifies safety as one of its top three priorities, yet is spending 8.9 percent of its 352 million-euro ($469 million) regular budget this year on making plants secure from accidents. As it focuses resources on the other two priorities -- technical cooperation and preventing nuclear- weapons proliferation -- the IAEA is missing an opportunity ...

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