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US Secretary of Energy visits Seibersdorf Labs

US Secretary of Energy During the 56th IAEA General Conference, US Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, Steven Chu, visited the IAEA’s nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf. The visit took Mr Chu to eight of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications’ laboratories. The agenda incorporated many diverse areas relating to food and agriculture, environmental monitoring and assessment, physics and human health.

Each of the laboratories provided Mr Chu with an overview of their activities and shared important aspects of their lab work and its translation into development in Member States. Many of the innovative techniques utilised in the laboratories were explained in detail. The visit presented Mr Chu an opportunity to see, first-hand, the science being conducted at the laboratories, as well as discover the IAEA’s work with applied research and development, training and capacity building and technical and analytical services.

The tour made a stop in the laboratories’ greenhouses, donated by the United States government, to hear about the IAEA’s innovations in soil and water management and plant breeding and genetics. Further visits were conducted in the Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, the Nuclear Spectrometry and Applications Laboratory, the Animal Production and Health Laboratory, the Dosimetry Laboratory, the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory and the Insect Pest Control Laboratory.

The visit came on the heels of an announcement by IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, seeking support from Member States for the upgrade of the nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf. The laboratories, celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, have long been an important means for the IAEA to further the peaceful use of nuclear technology, support Member States and increase the impact of related IAEA programmes.

Prior to his visit to the laboratories, Mr Chu gave a keynote address at the IAEA’s Scientific Forum, being held during the 56th IAEA General Conference. This is the second consecutive year that Mr Chu has played an instrumental role in the Scientific Forum, also speaking at the 2011 Forum “Water Matters: Making a Difference with Nuclear Techniques”.

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