Arms Control and International Security: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Promoting the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons rests on three interrelated and mutually reinforcing pillars: nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and disarmament.

The NPT’s Peaceful Uses Pillar

Article IV of the NPT is making good on the promise to broaden access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In the 45 years since the NPT’s entry into force, cooperation on peaceful nuclear uses has grown tremendously. Today, peaceful nuclear applications improve the lives of people all around the world.

Challenges Addressed by Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology

Peaceful uses of nuclear energy are addressing modern challenges such as climate change, energy security, and sustainable development. The benefits are clear, and all NPT parties must work to ensure continued access to these benefits in a safe and secure manner and without increasing the risk of proliferation.

The UnitedStates Stands Firmly in Support of the Peaceful Uses Pillar

  • As the largest donor to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States since 2010 has provided more than $190 million to promote peaceful nuclear applications, including about $108 million to the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Fund, $50 million to the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative, and $33 million in in-kind support. These contributions have enhanced the capabilities of more than 150 IAEA Member States to promote health care and nutrition, water resource management, food security, sustainable development and development of nuclear power infrastructure.
  • In addition, the United States has provided nearly $60 million in support to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund since 2010 to help ensure the physical protection of nuclear material, as well as $16 million to support IAEA efforts to promote nuclear safety.
  • The United States has civil nuclear agreements that permit peaceful nuclear cooperation with 47 countries, as well as the IAEA and Taiwan, and is pursuing agreements with additional partners.
  • The United States is advancing international efforts to guarantee reliable access to nuclear fuel, including the IAEA’s low-enriched uranium bank, to which we contributed nearly $50 million. We have also made available 230 metric tons of low-enriched uranium, downblended from surplus highly enriched uranium, via our American Assured Fuel Supply bank, which is now the largest fuel bank in the world.

Peaceful Uses Initiative Support to IAEA Projects is Making a Global Impact

IAEA projects supported with funding from the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative can be found in nearly every region of the world.

  • Ensuring food security: The PUI has helped to fund expanded laboratory capacities in Africa to improve the detection of animal diseases, and in Latin America to ensure food safety and reduce the fruit fly threat to agricultural resources.
  • Advancing human health: The PUI has strengthened national capacities throughout the world to detect and treat cancer, enhanced early detection capabilities for Ebola in Africa, and supported the advancement of education and training in nuclear medicine to improve the treatment of cardiac patients.
  • Protecting the environment: PUI contributions have funded projects to better understand the effects of climate change, trace pollution in marine waters, mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms, and promote global actions against ocean acidification.

U.S. Department of State Amazing Atoms APP

The Amazing Atoms app is a one-of-a-kind application that allows users to explore the peaceful uses of nuclear science around the  world. The app presents the full spectrum of projects currently underway around the globe that are working to improve people’s lives. The International Atomic Energy Agency, with support from the U.S. Department of State, is working to raise awareness of these projects which range from cancer therapy in Africa, to food security activities in South America. This app is available through the App Store and through the Google Play Store. For more information, please visit

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