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ElBaradei to leave IAEA in 2009: memo

by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Sept 10, 2008
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei will not stand for re-election as head of the UN nuclear watchdog when his contract expires next year, an agency document revealed Wednesday.

ElBaradei, who has served three terms as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1997, "is not available for a further term of office," said the memo to the board of governors, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

The document, dated September 5, has been circulated to IAEA governors.

The Egyptian diplomat's current term expires on November 30, 2009.

Under agency rules, 66-year-old ElBaradei, who was first appointed in December 1997 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work there, had until next month to decide whether to seek a new term.

The memo said that the board of governors would be asked to set the closing date for applications on December 31, 2008, with ElBaradei's successor to be appointed in June 2009 "at the latest".

That appointment would be put to next year's general conference for final approval.

ElBaradei has come under fire from some countries for being too lenient with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, which the IAEA has been investigating since 2003.

Until now, however, the agency has been unable to conclude that the nature of Tehran's atomic drive is purely peaceful as Iran's leaders claim.

Western countries, the United States in particular, believe Iran is seeking to covertly develop an atom bomb under the guise of nuclear research.

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Canadian think tank publishes nuclear guide
Ottawa (AFP) Sept 8, 2008
A group of Canadian academics Monday published a comprehensive guide to the who, what, where and how of nuclear energy.







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