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 159 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 434 nuclear power reactors in operation.
There is one reactor in long-term shutdown.
There are 69 nuclear power reactors under construction.
There are 119 operational nuclear reactors in North America, 100 in the United States.
France has the highest share of any country of nuclear power to total electricity generation, at 75 percent.
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.
August 9, 1945 - An atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki.
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 called 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.