La Agencia Internacional de Energía Atómica cumple 50 años

El aniversario 50 de la creación de la Agencia Internacional de Energía Atómica (AIEA), que se cumple este verano, ofrece una oportunidad para hacer una recapitulación acerca de la más importante entidad observadora del ámbito nuclear. Ocurre en un momento en que la agencia ha asumido una creciente responsabilidad por la seguridad nuclear. El reciente despacho de inspectores para verificar el cierre del reactor nuclear de Corea del Norte y las permanentes gestiones por encauzar las ambiciones nucleares de Irán son apenas los signos más visibles de esta función de monitoreo.

Sin embargo, aunque hay mucho que celebrar, sigue abierta la pregunta de si la AIEA puede aumentar su capacidad tanto para combatir la proliferación como para promover la seguridad de las plantas nucleares. La historia sugiere que, sin una mayor autoridad, la Agencia será incapaz de reducir de manera importante los riesgos nucleares globales.

La AIEA tiene su origen en los oscuros y tempranos días de la Guerra Fría. En su discurso “Átomos para la paz” de diciembre de 1953, el Presidente Dwight Eisenhower trató de quitar tensión a la competencia armamentista nuclear con la Unión Soviética haciendo una llamado a la creación de un banco internacional de combustible nuclear dotado de material de fisión superpotente, cuya gestión estaría a cargo de una nueva organización nuclear global. Aunque el banco nunca se creó, la semilla de la organización rindió frutos, dando origen a la AIEA en 1957.

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