IAEA Lab Renovations Well Under Way

The eight nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria, opened in 1962 and had not undergone any renovation or received major equipment upgrades until the ReNuAL project began in 2014.

Voluntary contributions from 14 Member States last year enabled renovations of the IAEA's eight nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria, to advance significantly last year, the agency announced Jan. 23. The upgrades will improve IAEA's capacity to support Member States in the use of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture, human health and the environment, and the use of new nuclear scientific instruments. The modernization projects, known as Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) and ReNuAL Plus (ReNuAL+), are enhancing the labs' equipment and infrastructure and constructing new buildings.

The labs opened in 1962 and had not undergone any renovation or received major equipment upgrades until the ReNuAL project began in 2014.

Cash contributions to ReNuAL, which ran from 2014 to 2017, and the follow-up project ReNuAL+, which began last year, have amounted to more than €32 million from Member States, including €8.7 million during 2017. IAEA also received equipment under various partnerships from traditional donors such as the United States, Japan, and Western European governments, along with an increasing number of middle-income countries.

"In recognition of the important role that the IAEA's Nuclear Application laboratories in Seibersdorf play in enhancing the agency's Technical Cooperation Program and in view of their valuable contribution to Jordan in the areas of food security and safety, medical dosimetry, water management and environmental protection, the Government of Jordan decided to provide a financial contribution to the modernization project of the laboratories, as it will maximize benefits and expand support needed to Member States," said Ambassador Hussam Al Husseini, the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations and International Organizations in Vienna.

"We are greatly encouraged by the commitment of Member States to helping us improve our laboratories," said Laboratory Coordinator Andy Garner. "The contributions from a wide range of Member States are testimony to the importance of the work being done in Seibersdorf and its global impact."

A donor wall recognizing those who have contributed to the laboratory renovations is on display at the lnsect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf.

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