IAEA Press Release
2000/14 (14 June 2000)
The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meeting in Vienna, 5-8 June 2000, reviewed the implementation of IAEA safeguards last year.
In 1999, the IAEA concluded that in States which have safeguards agreements in force, declared nuclear material and other items placed under safeguards remained in peaceful nuclear activities or were otherwise adequately accounted for. This conclusion derives from the evaluation of all information acquired in the course of implementing safeguards agreements and of other information available to the Agency for 70 States (and in Taiwan, China). The Secretariat found no indication that the nuclear material which had been declared and placed under safeguards had been diverted for any military purpose or for purposes unknown, or that facilities, equipment or non-nuclear material placed under safeguards were being misused.
In 1999, the Agency was in the early stages of implementing protocols additional to safeguards agreements ("additional protocols"). For two States, each of which has a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol in force, the Agency was able to draw a further conclusion relating to the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in the State as a whole. Having completed the evaluation of all information available to the Agency, including the results of activities performed for each State under its safeguards agreement and additional protocol, the Secretariat found no indication of diversion of declared nuclear material or of the presence of undeclared nuclear material or activities in these States. For the other States that have a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol in force, the evaluation of the information available was not complete.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains in non-compliance with its safeguards agreement. The Agency is still unable to verify the correctness and completeness of the initial declaration of nuclear material made by the DPRK and is, therefore, unable to conclude that there has been no diversion of nuclear material in the DPRK. Although the safeguards agreement between the DPRK and the Agency remains binding and in force, the Agency is able to implement only some of the required safeguards measures in the DPRK. These measures include monitoring the "freeze" on the DPRK’s graphite moderated reactors and related facilities, as requested by the United Nations Security Council and as foreseen in the "Agreed Framework" of October 1994 between the DPRK and the United States of America.
Since 1991, the Agency’s safeguards obligations in Iraq have been subsumed under United Nations Security Council resolution 687 and related resolutions. However, since December 1998, the Agency has not been in a position to implement its mandate and, therefore, cannot at present provide any assurance that Iraq is in compliance with its obligations under those resolutions. In the light of the fact that the Security Council mandated activities ceased in December 1998 and given the requirements of the Agency’s safeguards system, the Agency scheduled an inspection in Iraq for December 1999 under Iraq’s safeguards agreement pursuant to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The planned inspection could not be carried out because the Government of Iraq provided the necessary visas for safeguards inspectors only in January 2000. The planned physical inventory verification inspection took place from 22 to 25 January 2000. Within the limited objective of verifying the nuclear material subject to safeguards, Agency inspectors were able to verify the presence of such material. The inspection was not intended to be a substitute for the Agency’s activities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
In 1999, the Agency continued to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system. Work has focused on five major areas: (a) Agency access to, and evaluation of, substantially more information than previously available to the Agency about a State’s nuclear and nuclear-related activities; (b) increased Agency inspector access to locations in a State; (c) advances in safeguards technology and verification procedures; (d) more effective and efficient use of all resources; and (e) integrated safeguards.
By the end of 1999, the safeguards strengthening measures pursuant to the legal authority conferred on the Agency by safeguards agreements had been largely incorporated into routine use, thereby enhancing the Agency’s ability to detect diversion of declared nuclear material and to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities at declared facilities. Examples of such measures are environmental swipe sampling at facilities and periodic verification of design information.
The second category of strengthening measures consists of those that can be implemented on the basis of the complementary legal authority conferred on the Agency through additional protocols based on the model text approved by the Board of Governors in May 1997. When fully implemented in a State, the measures provided by a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol will allow the Agency to draw safeguards conclusions and thereby provide credible assurance of the non-diversion of declared nuclear material and of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in the State as a whole. By the end of 1999, additional protocols with 46 States had been approved by the Board. They cover 41 non-nuclear-weapon States that have comprehensive safeguards agreements in force or awaiting ratification, one State with an INFCIRC/66-type safeguards agreement, and four nuclear-weapon States, each of which has a voluntary offer safeguards agreement with the Agency. Of the protocols approved, eight were in force: for Australia, the Holy See, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Monaco, New Zealand, and Uzbekistan. In Ghana, the additional protocol was being applied provisionally, pending its entry into force.
In December 1998, the Department of Safeguards embarked on a programme for the development and implementation of "integrated safeguards". The term refers to the optimum combination of all safeguards measures available to the Agency under comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols, to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency in meeting the Agency’s safeguards obligations within available resources.
As of 31 December 1999, safeguards agreements were in force with 140 States (and with Taiwan, China). However, 54 non-nuclear-weapon States party to the NPT had not yet concluded a safeguards agreement with the Agency pursuant to the treaty. During the year, the Agency applied safeguards in 70 States (and in Taiwan, China), the majority of which were inspected pursuant to comprehensive safeguards agreements. Four of the States inspected have agreements covering specified nuclear or non-nuclear material, facilities and equipment. Some inspections took place in the five nuclear-weapon States pursuant to their voluntary offer safeguards agreements with the Agency.
During 1999, the Agency performed nine initial safeguards evaluations of States’ nuclear and nuclear-related activities for States that have comprehensive safeguards agreements and more extensive evaluations for five States that have submitted information pursuant to their additional protocols. In addition, the Agency carried out activities for two of the five States pursuant to their additional protocols, including complementary access to locations in these States.
As of 31 December 1999, there were 900 facilities and other locations under Agency safeguards. A total of 2495 inspections were performed at 587 facilities, representing 10 190 person-days of inspection effort in the field.
In 1999, safeguards expenditure from the Regular Budget was $79 million. In addition, Member States contributed extrabudgetary funds of $13.8 million. These extrabudgetary funds were largely used for equipment development and procurement. Much of this equipment is essential for improving goal attainment and safeguards effectiveness and should have been funded from the Regular Budget. However, the Regular Budget was not sufficient to cover all essential expenditures. The trend towards increasing reliance on extrabudgetary funding, with its disadvantages, has therefore continued.