What are Seibersdorf Laboratories? – Vindobona.org

Especially during the climate crisis, it is of great importance to explore old and new energy sources and to find alternatives and possibilities for producing energy that is as environmentally friendly as possible. In the case of nuclear science and nuclear technologies, the applications are broader than power generation.

The Seibersdorf Center is managed by Seibersdorf Labor GmbH, which was established in 2008. The owners are the Republic of Austria (50.46%) under the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation through AIT. and the Federation of Technology and Austrian Industry.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also operated laboratories in Seibersdorf since 1962. The IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications also operates laboratories here and in Vienna.

The FAO/IAEA Laboratory for Agriculture and Biotechnology in Seibersdorf (together with the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO for soil science, plant and animal husbandry, entomology and agrochemicals), the Laboratory for Physics, Chemistry and Measurement (chemistry and instrumentation, dosimetry, hydrology of isotopes) and Conservation Safety Analytical Laboratory (clean laboratory for isotope analysis, chemical analysis, detection) is also a training center where more than 2,300 scientists and technicians from 120 countries have been trained over the past decades. The IAEA laboratories are managed by the General Services and Security Unit (GESS). The IAEA’s Safeguards Analytical Laboratory gained worldwide notoriety, especially after evidence of Iran’s nuclear program was discovered there in 2007.

In addition to providing technical and analytical services, laboratories support and carry out activities to meet the development needs of Member States on various topics. They also carry out applied research and development, provide training to Member States and carry out capacity building.

History of the Seibersdorf Reactor Center

In 1958, the Austrian Research Association for Atomic Energy (SGAE), which had been established two years before Austria’s entry into the nuclear age, purchased a 110-hectare site in the municipality of Seibersdorf for a research site.

The Seibersdorf Reactor Center was built on this site between 1958 and 1960. In addition to the institutes of electronics, physics, chemistry, metallurgy and radiation protection, the Adapted Pool Type Reactor Austria, the first research reactor in Austria, was built centrally. research object. A temporary storage facility for low-level radioactive waste was also built. Since 1962, laboratories have been operating in IAEA Seibersdorf.

As nuclear power did not become the leading technology in Austria as it was intended in the 1950s, research at the reactor center also diversified. After Austria abandoned nuclear power, the original mission became obsolete, and only the research reactor continued to operate. This move away from focusing on nuclear energy was also reflected in the change of name to the Seibersdorf Research Center. The nuclear reactor was shut down in 1999-2004.

IAEA’s ReNuAL and ReNuAL2 Initiative

However, since the plant has been at the center of research for several years, there is an urgent need to modernize and expand the plant.

However, more than 50 years after its opening, the laboratories have not undergone comprehensive renovation or equipment renewal. It is for this reason that the IAEA established the Renewal of Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) project, which aims to start the modernization of nuclear application laboratories.

A new Pest Control Laboratory, a new medical linear accelerator facility for the IAEA’s Dosimetry Laboratory, and the Amano Laboratories building were completed in 2014 as part of the Renewal of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL). In 2020, the Amano Laboratories building was named after the late CEO Yukiya Amano and will house animal production and health (APHL), soil and water management and plant nutrition (SWMCNL), and food safety and control (FSCL). ) laboratories.

In October of this year, the modernization process was further developed, and on this occasion Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, admitted: “After two years of intense preparation, we are now starting construction to complete the modernization of our indispensable Seibersdorf laboratories. contributions to the global fight against disease, climate change and world hunger.

A renovation initiative is currently underway in Phase ReNuAL2, and the new building will house three new laboratories. Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBGL), Earth Environment and Radiochemistry (TERC) and Nuclear Sciences and Instruments (NSIL). These labs help countries deal with climate change, food security, environmental management, and more. will help in solving problems related to The new building is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

As part of ReNuAL2, the IAEA will also build new greenhouses adjacent to the new laboratories necessary for programs such as plant breeding, food security, soil and water management and plant nutrition. This last element of ReNuAL2 will now be the focus of resource mobilization efforts.

Seibersdorf’s nuclear application laboratories celebrate their 60th anniversary this year. ReNuAL2 is the latest milestone in a decade-long effort to modernize the facility.

IAEA

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