L’agence internationale de l’énergie atomique a 50 ans

Le cinquantième anniversaire de l’AIEA est l’occasion de dresser un bilan de l’action du principal organisme international de surveillance du nucléaire. L’Agence assume des responsabilités croissantes en matière de sécurité. Le déploiement d’inspecteurs chargés de vérifier la fermeture du réacteur nord-coréen et les efforts soutenus pour contrer les ambitions nucléaires de l’Iran n’en sont que les manifestations les plus visibles.

Il y a donc lieu de se féliciter. Pourtant, des questions demeurent quant à la capacité de l’AIEA à mieux lutter contre la prolifération et promouvoir la sécurité des centrales nucléaires. L’expérience passée laisse à penser que, en l’absence d’autorité plus importante, l’Agence ne sera pas en mesure de réduire de manière significative les risques nucléaires à l’échelle mondiale.

L’histoire de l’AIEA remonte aux sombres débuts de la Guerre froide. Dans son discours de décembre 1953 devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies, “L’atome au service de la paix”, le Président des Etats-Unis Dwight Eisenhower proposait de modérer la concurrence pour les armes atomiques avec l’Union soviétique par la création d’un réservoir international de matières fissiles, géré par une nouvelle organisation internationale nucléaire. Ce projet en tant que tel ne vit jamais le jour, mais l’idée était lancée, et l’AIEA naquît en 1957.

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