IAEA picks Finn for top UN nuclear inspection job

Finland's nuclear safety authority said Monday a Finnish official had been chosen as chief inspector of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure nuclear weapons technology is not spread.

"Tero Varjoranta will head the Department of Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency," the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) said in a statement.

Varjoranta was named head of STUK in January, and will assume his position as the IAEA's chief inspector at the beginning of October.

Before that he spent 18 months at the IAEA's nuclear energy department as its director of nuclear fuel cycle and Waste Technology.

Varjoranta replaces Belgian Herman Nackaerts, whose efforts to boost United Nations inspections of Iran's nuclear programme failed in February.

"We will work hard now to resolve the remaining differences, but time is needed to reflect on the way forward," Nackaerts said on February 14.

Nackaerts's predecessor was also a Finn, Olli Heinonen.