Finnish nuclear chief to become new UN inspector

nuclearFinland’s top nuclear figurehead is to take on the role of chief nuclear inspector for the United Nations. According to a YLE news report, Tero Varjoranta, who currently heads Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), is to take the reigns from Herman Nackaerts as the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) deputy director general for safeguards.

Nackaerts, a Belgian national, has led the agency for three years and has been at the centre of numerous high-profile conflicts, notably inspections in Syria and Iran. He is due to retire later this year, although no official date has yet to be announced as to when Varjoranta will formally replace him.

Mr Varjoranta has been with STUK for nearly 30 years and worked with the IAEA in Vienna from 2010 to 2011. His appointment as the UN’s top nuclear inspector makes him the second Finn to hold the role; compatriot Olli Heinonen was chief inspector until 2010.