How We Implement Safeguards

What are Safeguards? By definition, the safeguards system comprises an extensive set of technical measures by which the IAEA Secretariat independently verifies the correctness and the completeness of the declarations made by States about their nuclear material and activities including those from the Additional Protocol, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency within the available resources.

Traditional Measures. One set of measures relates to the nuclear material verification activities performed at facilities or other locations where States have declared the presence of nuclear material subject to safeguards. These measures are also referred to as "traditional safeguards".

Strengthening Measures. Another set relates to the measures endorsed or encouraged by the IAEA Board of Governors since 1992 for strengthening the safeguards system. These measures fall into two categories. The first category comprises those measures to be implemented under the legal authority conferred by existing safeguards agreements. The second category comprises measures to be implemented under the complementary legal authority conferred by Additional Protocols concluded on the basis of the Model Additional Protocol. When fully implemented in a State, the strengthening measures provided by a comprehensive safeguards agreement together with an Additional Protocol will allow the IAEA to draw safeguards conclusions both about the non-diversion of declared nuclear material and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in that State.

Integrated Safeguards. In 1998, the IAEA's Department of Safeguards embarked upon 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, including those from the Additional Protocol, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency within the available resources.

Verification Activities

Safeguards Agreements & Facilities
The IAEA has safeguards agreements in force with 179 States and with Taiwan, China, as of 31 December 2012. In addition, 119 States have an Additional Protocol in force. More than 1200 facilities around the world are under IAEA safeguards.

Training the IAEA Inspectorate
Each year, the IAEA recruits a group of highly qualified specialists to join its experienced international team of safeguards inspectors.
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Safeguards Measures & Equipment
An array of instruments, techniques, and methods are used by safeguards inspectors for their work.  Learn more on:

Safeguards & Safeguards Related Events
Highly publicized verification cases, including those in Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, have focused attention on the IAEA and its safeguards role.
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Safeguards & Disarmament Initiatives
A Tripartitite Initiative between the IAEA, United States, and Russia was launched in the late 1990s.
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