IAEA chief picks Belgian as new chief investigator

13th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said Monday he has chosen Belgian nuclear expert Herman Nackaerts as the agency's new chief investigator, replacing Olli Heinone who resigned last month.

Amano officially notified the 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency of his choices for four new deputy director generals at the traditional September meeting which began in Vienna Monday.

And he confirmed his selection of 59-year-old Nackaerts for the all-important position of head of safeguards at a news conference afterwards.

The safeguards department is responsible for verifying that countries' nuclear activities are exclusively peaceful and not diverted for military purposes.

Heinonen, 63, stepped down at the end of August after five years on the job and nearly 30 years in the agency.

Nackaerts joined the IAEA in 2006, when he was appointed Heinonen's deputy. Prior to that, he was head of safeguards inspections at the European Commission.

© 2010 AFP

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