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IAEA Press Release

IAEA Press Release 2001/14

IAEA Board Reviews Record of Safeguards Implementation

2001 | Vienna, 18 June 2001 | The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meeting in Vienna on 11-14 June, reviewed the implementation of IAEA safeguards last year.

In 2000, the IAEA concluded that in the 140 States (and in Taiwan, China) which have safeguards agreements in force, nuclear material and other items placed under safeguards remained in peaceful nuclear activities or were otherwise adequately accounted for. This conclusion is based on the evaluation of all information acquired in implementing safeguards agreements and of other information available to the Agency, in particular for the 70 States with significant nuclear activities (and for Taiwan, China). In the course of that evaluation, the Agency found no indication of diversion of nuclear material placed under safeguards or of misuse of facilities, equipment or non-nuclear material placed under safeguards.

In 2000, for seven States, each of which has a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol in force or being provisionally applied, the Agency concluded that all nuclear material in those States had been placed under safeguards and remained in peaceful nuclear activities or was otherwise adequately accounted for. This conclusion is based on the evaluation of all information acquired in implementing safeguards agreements and additional protocols and of all other information available to the Agency for each of the above States. In the course of that evaluation, the Agency found no indication of diversion of nuclear material placed under safeguards or of the presence of undeclared nuclear material or activities in these States. For the 12 other States that have a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol in force, the Agency's evaluations had not yet reached the stage where such a conclusion could be drawn.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The Agency is still unable to verify the correctness and completeness of the initial report of nuclear material made by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and is, therefore, unable to conclude that there has been no diversion of nuclear material in that State. In November 2000, the Agency explained in more detail its generic requirements for the verification of the correctness and completeness of the DPRK's initial report. During the year, the Agency was permitted by the DPRK to identify some of the documents that needed to be preserved by the DPRK for this verification.

The DPRK remains in non-compliance with its safeguards agreement. 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 State. The Agency has, however, been able to monitor 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 United States of America and the DPRK.

Iraq

From 1991 to 1998, the Agency's safeguards obligations in Iraq were implemented under the 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 under those resolutions and, therefore, still cannot provide any assurance that Iraq is in compliance with its obligations under those resolutions. Given the requirements of its safeguards system, and pursuant to its safeguards agreement with Iraq, the Agency was, however, able to conduct a physical inventory verification of the nuclear material under safeguards and located at the Tuwaitha storage facility in January 2000. Agency inspectors were able to verify the presence of the nuclear material in question.

Strengthening Safeguards

In 2000, the Agency continued to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system. Work has focused on six 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) increased co-operation with State and regional systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material; (e) safeguards training; and (f) integrated safeguards.

To effectively process and utilize the information being submitted by States and collected by the Agency, the computerized Protocol Data Information System was enhanced, new software was introduced to organize open source information and a commercial satellite imagery database of nuclear sites was established. The State evaluation process was further strengthened by formalizing State evaluation groups, and by expanding the physical model and developing guidelines for its use. To ensure that complementary access is implemented consistently and objectively, internal guidelines for conducting it were developed and are now being implemented on a provisional basis. Unattended monitoring systems for spent fuel transfers were tested with positive results at storage facilities in three Member States. By the end of 2000, 18 surveillance systems were installed and operating in the remote monitoring mode in seven Member States. Short notice random inspections were being implemented at five fuel fabrication facilities in two Member States. The safeguards training curriculum was further enhanced with the addition of new courses on complementary access, application of satellite imagery, proliferation indicators, and safeguards information and security requirements.

In 2000, the continued development of integrated safeguards was a high priority within the Agency. Guidelines were prepared that define the conditions to be met by a State and activities to be performed by the Agency that are considered adequate for drawing a conclusion of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State are a prerequisite to implementing integrated safeguards in the State. These guidelines are in provisional use. During the year, integrated safeguards approaches were prepared for three generic facility types: light water reactors without mixed oxide fuel, research reactors, and spent fuel storage facilities. Implementation-related aspects of integrated safeguards further elaborated were safeguards criteria for facility-type approaches, the conditions for conducting effective unannounced inspections and the procedures for random selection of facilities for inspection. In addition, the first State-level integrated safeguards approach for a Member State with an additional protocol in force was prepared for Australia for provisional implementation in 2001.

Safeguards Statistics

As of 31 December 2000, safeguards agreements with 140 States (and with Taiwan, China) were in force. However, 54 non-nuclear-weapon States party to the NPT had not yet either concluded or brought into force a safeguards agreement with the Agency pursuant to the treaty. During the year, the Agency carried out safeguards inspections in the 70 States with significant nuclear activities (and in Taiwan, China), the majority of which were inspected pursuant to comprehensive safeguards agreements. Four of the States inspected have INFCIRC/66-type safeguards 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. By the end of 2000, additional protocols with 57 States had been approved by the Board. They cover 51 non-nuclear-weapon States that have comprehensive safeguards agreements in force or awaiting ratification, one State with an INFCIRC/66-type safeguards agreement, and five nuclear-weapon States, each of which has a voluntary offer safeguards agreement with the Agency. Of the protocols approved, 18 were in force. In Ghana, the additional protocol was being applied provisionally, pending its entry into force. Overall progress on the conclusion and entry into force of safeguards agreements and additional protocols remains disappointingly slow. In the course of the year, only three new safeguards agreements were concluded, no new safeguards agreement entered into force and only 11 States had additional protocols approved by the Board.

As of 31 December 2000, there were 902 facilities and other locations under Agency safeguards. A total of 2467 inspections were performed at 584 facilities, representing 10 264 person-days of inspection effort in the field.

In 2000, safeguards expenditure from the Regular Budget was $70.6 million. In addition, Member States contributed extrabudgetary funds of $10.3 million. These extrabudgetary funds were largely used for equipment development and procurement. The continuing shortage in Regular Budget funds and reliance on voluntary contributions have been, and continue to be, of great concern in spite of a series of measures instituted to increase management efficiency. However, any benefits derived from these measures are small compared to the unfunded resources required to maintain credible safeguards, which is thus becoming increasingly difficult, and to continue the progress made in strengthening the Agency's safeguards system.

About the IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves as the world's foremost intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Established as an autonomous organization under the United Nations (UN) in 1957, the IAEA carries out programmes to maximize the useful contribution of nuclear technology to society while verifying its peaceful use.

Press Contacts

Marc Vidricaire
Director and Spokesperson
Division of Public Information
[43-1] 2600-21270
[email protected]

Ayhan Evrensel
Acting Head, Media and Outreach Section
Division of Public Information
[43-1] 2600-21271
[43] 699-165-21271 (mobile)
[email protected]

NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit the IAEA's Press Section, or call the IAEA's Division of Public Information at (431) 2600-21270.

Responsible/Contact: Division of Public Information | Last update: 17 November 2009