PRESS RELEASE: U.S. funding to IAEA Supports Cancer Treatment in Mexico

May Abdel-Wahab, IAEA Director, Division of Human Health, Department of Nuclear Science and Applications, presents a tour of the Linac Facility at the ReNuAL Event in Seibersdorf, June 2019. (IAEA/Dean Calma)

U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna
Vienna, Austria
September 22, 2020




U.S. funding to IAEA Supports Cancer Treatment in Mexico

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is allocating $1.3 million in funding to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assist Mexico in improving cancer management through the provision of a medical linear accelerator, or “LINAC.”  This funding is part of a much larger effort by the United States to improve the lives of people in developing countries around the world by funding projects that further the peaceful uses of nuclear technologies through the IAEA.


This project is part of the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Program and will help improve radiation oncology and management of cancer patients by updating regional cancer treatment centers in Mexico.  With the $1.3 million from NNSA, a LINAC will strengthen medical professionals’ knowledge in the use of radiotherapy and nuclear medicine techniques.


LINACs use electricity, rather than a radioactive source, to generate high energy beams of X-rays or electrons that can be used in treating cancer.  The NNSA’s Office of Radiological Security works with domestic and international partners in more than 80 countries to enhance the security of high-activity radioactive sources and promote the adoption and development of alternative technologies, such as LINACs, to reduce overall reliance on radioactive sources. 


The adoption of alternative technologies not only reduces the risk of radiological terrorism but also addresses important treatment needs.  As the IAEA plays a central role in providing support to Member States upon their request, NNSA is working in partnership with the IAEA to provide support to projects like this one that will help address radiation therapy needs and increase access to sustainable treatment services.


More information on the IAEA and its Technical Cooperation Program is available at

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