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Nuclear Power/IAEA Fast Facts

By CNN Library
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)

(CNN) -- Here's some background information about the International Atomic Energy Agency and nuclear power.

The IAEA inspects nuclear and related facilities under safeguard agreements. Most agreements are with countries that have committed to not possessing nuclear weapons. These agreements are concluded pursuant to the global Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), for which the IAEA is the verification authority.

Other Facts:
The IAEA has 162 member states.

Yukiya Amano has been the director general of the IAEA since December 1, 2009.

There are 35 member countries on the IAEA Board of Governors, which meets five times a year.

The IAEA has about 2,300 employees.

IAEA safeguard programs monitor nuclear reactors to make sure nuclear material is not being diverted for making weapons.

The IAEA sends out inspectors to monitor the reactors.

The IAEA helps countries prepare and respond to emergencies.

Current status of the nuclear industry:
There are 435 nuclear power reactors in operation.

There are two reactors in long-term shutdown.

There are 72 nuclear power reactors under construction.

There are 100 operational nuclear reactors in the United States.

France has a 75% share of nuclear power to total electricity generation, the highest of any country.

Timeline:
1939 - Nuclear fission is discovered.

1942 - The world's first nuclear chain reaction takes place in Chicago as part of the wartime Manhattan Project.

1945 - The first nuclear weapons test takes place in New Mexico near Alamogordo.

July 16, 1945 - The U.S. successfully tests its first nuclear bomb.

August 6, 1945 - An atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

August 9, 1945 - An atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

August 29, 1949 - The Soviet Union tests its first nuclear bomb.

December 1951 - Electricity is first generated from a nuclear reactor at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho.

October 3, 1952 - The United Kingdom tests its first nuclear bomb.

December 8, 1953 - In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, President Dwight D. Eisenhower asks the world's major powers to work together in developing peacetime uses of the atom. This is known as the Atoms for Peace program; 40 countries participate. Also during this speech, Eisenhower proposes the creation of an international agency to monitor the spread of nuclear technology.

1954 - Brazil begins a long-term effort to develop nuclear technology.

June 26, 1954 - In the town of Obninsk, near Moscow, the first nuclear power plant is connected to an electricity grid to provide power to residences and businesses.

1955 - Argentina begins a long-term nuclear research program.

1957 - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is established to facilitate the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

February 13, 1960 - France tests its first nuclear bomb.

1961 - The IAEA establishes its first safeguards system.

October 16, 1964 - China tests its first nuclear bomb.

September 16, 1968 - The IAEA revises its safeguards system with the addition of provisions for safeguarded nuclear material in conversion plants and fabrication plants.

March 5, 1970 - The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (also known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the NPT) enters into force. The IAEA establishes a safeguards system for NPT countries.

May 18, 1974 - India conducts what it calls a peaceful nuclear explosion.

March 28, 1979 - A partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear power plant reactor core occurs in Middletown, Pennsylvania. It is determined that equipment malfunctions, design-related problems and human error led to the partial meltdown.

1981 - Swedish diplomat Dr. Hans Blix is appointed director general of the IAEA.

April 26, 1986 - Reactor number four explodes at the Chernobyl, Ukraine, nuclear power plant, releasing large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. Over 100,000 people are evacuated from their homes. Authorities say the disaster directly killed about 30 people. Later estimates say more than 4,000 cleanup workers died and close to 70,000 were disabled from radiation-related causes. According to the United Nations, the explosion and fire that occurred affected, directly or indirectly, nine million people due to the radioactive materials released into the atmosphere.

1994 - North Korea withdraws from the IAEA after having joined in 1974.

January 29, 1996 - France declares a moratorium on nuclear testing.

July 29, 1996 - China declares a moratorium on nuclear testing.

May 16, 1997 - The IAEA Board of Governors approves the Model Additional Protocol, which is aimed at strengthening safeguards.

December 1997 - Mohamed ElBaradei is appointed IAEA director-general.

May 11-13, 1998 - India tests some nuclear devices.

May 28-30, 1998 - Pakistan tests some nuclear devices.

September 2001 - Mohamed ElBaradei is reappointed as IAEA director general.

December 2002 - North Korea expels IAEA inspectors.

January 10, 2003 - North Korea announces its withdrawal from the NPT.

June 16, 2003 - The IAEA Board of Governors discusses Iran's nuclear program, disclosing that Iran had failed to report certain nuclear material and activities.

August 2003 - IAEA inspectors find traces of highly enriched uranium at an electrical plant in Iran.

November 26, 2003 - The IAEA Board of Governors adopts a resolution condemning Iran´s pursuit of clandestine nuclear activities in violation of its IAEA safeguards agreement.

December 18, 2003 - Iran signs the Additional Protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement.

December 19, 2003 - Libya announces that it will dismantle its WMD program, disclose all relevant information, and allow IAEA inspectors to verify its compliance.

March 10, 2004 - Libya signs the Additional Protocol with the IAEA.

June 2005 - Mohamed ElBaradei reappointed as IAEA director general.

October 7, 2005 - The IAEA and Mohamed ElBaradei are named the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way."

January 6, 2006 - IAEA inspectors found that Iran had removed IAEA seals on nuclear equipment.

February 4, 2006 - After meeting for four days in emergency session, 27 of the IAEA board's 36 countries vote in favor of reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council for its nuclear program. Syria, Venezuela and Cuba vote in opposition, and Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa abstain.

March 13-14, 2007 - Director General Mohamed ElBaradei visits Pyongyang to discuss February's Six-Party agreement to shut down North Korea's primary nuclear reactor. This is the first official visit by the IAEA since 2002.

December 1, 2009 - Yukiya Amano replaces Mohamed ElBaradei as director general of the IAEA.

March 11, 2011 - A 9.0 magnitude earthquake strikes near the east coast of Honshu, Japan. This creates a massive tsunami. A state of alert is declared at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The tsunami knocks out the plant's cooling systems. The cores of three of Fukushima Daiichi's six reactors are damaged by overheating and resulting hydrogen explosions blow apart the buildings surrounding reactors 1 and 3. The vast amount of radiation released from the plant, largely in the first two weeks, prompts Japanese authorities to eventually rate the crisis at the top of the international scale that measures nuclear accidents. Plant workers are still battling to restore the plant's cooling systems.

May 27, 2011 - The seven oldest German nuclear reactors are taken offline and shut down permanently. These reactors had provided approximately 23 percent of the electricity for the country.

May 30, 2011 - Germany announces the decision to abandon the use of all nuclear power by the year 2022. This repeals a 2010 plan to extend the life of the country's nuclear reactors. Germany will invest in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy. The announcement included a tax on spent nuclear fuel rods. An eighth power plant was added to the list of those to be permanently closed. The country has 17 nuclear reactors.

September 12, 2011 - A furnace explodes at a nuclear site in France, killing one person and injuring four. According to officials, there was no radioactive leak or waste released.

November 8, 2011 - The IAEA releases a report that it has "serious concerns" and "credible" information that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons.

January 29-31, 2012 - Meetings aimed at resolving outstanding issues in relation to Iran's nuclear program are held between IAEA and Iran in Tehran.

February 20-21, 2012 - An IAEA team visits Iran for further discussion on Iran's nuclear program. During these discussions and the ones held January 29-31, the IAEA team requests access to the military site at Parchin. Iran denies these requests and refuses to agree to a process for resolving questions about other possible military dimensions of their nuclear program.

May 5, 2012 - The Tomari Nuclear Power Plant's reactor 3 in Hokkaido is shut down for maintenance, leaving Japan without nuclear power for the first time in four decades.

June 16, 2012 - Despite public objections, the Japanese government approves restarting two nuclear reactors at the Kansai Electric Power Company in Ohi in Fukui prefecture, the first reactors scheduled to resume since all nuclear reactors were shut down in May 2012.

July 1, 2012 - Kansai Electric Power Co. Ltd. (KEPCO) restarts the Ohi nuclear plant's No. 3 reactor, resuming nuclear power production in Japan for the first time in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown following the tsunami.

November 11, 2013 - The International Atomic Energy Agency signs a cooperation deal with Iran which will give the IAEA greater access to long-unseen nuclear sites, including a heavy-water reactor in Arak.

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