Nuclear Power/IAEA Fast Facts

Kansai Electric Power Company's Takahama nuclear plant in western Japan.

(CNN)Here's a look at the International Atomic Energy Agency and nuclear power.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspects nuclear and related facilities under safeguard agreements. Most agreements are with countries that have committed to not possessing nuclear weapons. The IAEA is the verification authority to enforce the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Other Facts

    The IAEA has 173 member states (as of April 7, 2021).
      Rafael Grossi has been the director general of the IAEA since December 3, 2019.
      There are 35 member countries on the IAEA Board of Governors, which meets five times a year.

        Current status of the nuclear industry


        1939 - Nuclear fission is discovered.
        1942 - The world's first nuclear chain reaction takes place in Chicago as part of the Manhattan Project, a US research program aimed at developing the first nuclear weapons.
        July 16, 1945 - The United States conducts its first nuclear weapons test in New Mexico.
        August 9, 1945 - An atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
        August 29, 1949 - The Soviet Union conducts its first nuclear weapons test.
        December 1951 - Electricity is first generated from a nuclear reactor at the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho.
        October 3, 1952 - The United Kingdom conducts its first nuclear weapons test.
        December 8, 1953 - In a speech to the United Nations 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, and 40 countries participate. Also during this speech, Eisenhower proposes the creation of an international agency to monitor the spread of nuclear technology.
        June 26, 1954 - In the Soviet Union, the first nuclear power plant is connected to an electricity grid to provide power to residences and businesses in a town near Moscow.
        1957 - The IAEA is established to facilitate the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
        1950's - Brazil and Argentina begin research and development of nuclear reactors.
        May 18, 1974 - India conducts its first nuclear weapons test.
        March 28, 1979 - A partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant occurs in Middletown, Pennsylvania. It is determined that equipment malfunctions, design-related problems and human error led to the accident.
        April 26, 1986 - Reactor number four explodes at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, releasing large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.
        September 24, 1996 - The United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and 66 other UN member countries sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, barring the testing of nuclear weapons.
        December 1997 - Mohamed ElBaradei is appointed IAEA director-general.
        May 1998 - India and Pakistan test nuclear devices amid tensions between the neighboring countries.
        January 10, 2003 - North Korea announces its withdrawal from the NPT.
        August 2003 - IAEA inspectors find traces of highly enriched uranium at an electrical plant in Iran.
        December 19, 2003 - Libya announces that it will dismantle its WMD program, in cooperation with the IAEA as well as the United States and the United Kingdom.
        October 7, 2005 - The IAEA and ElBaradei are named the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
        December 1, 2009 - Yukiya Amano replaces ElBaradei as director general of the IAEA.
        March 11, 2011 - A 9.0 magnitude earthquake strikes near the coast of Honshu, Japan, creating a massive tsunami. The tsunami knocks out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant's cooling systems. The cores of three of six reactors are damaged by overheating. Resulting hydrogen explosions blow apart the buildings surrounding two reactors.
        May 30, 2011 - Germany announces it will abandon the use of all nuclear power by the year 2022. This repeals a 2010 plan to extend the life of the country's nuc