Department of Safeguards

The Department of Safeguards carries out the IAEA’s duties and responsibilities as the world’s nuclear inspectorate, supporting global efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

The primary role of the Department is to administer and implement IAEA Safeguards. It also contributes to nuclear arms control and disarmament, by responding to requests for verification and other technical assistance associated with related agreements and arrangements.

Divisions of Operations

The Department has three Divisions of Operations and the Office for Verification in Iran, which play a pivotal role in verifying that for States with safeguards agreements in force, there is no diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities and no indications of undeclared nuclear material or activities in the State as a whole. Each of the Divisions is responsible for the implementation of safeguards in a different geographical area:

  • Division of Operations A - Australasia and East Asia
  • Division of Operations B - Middle East, South Asia, Africa, some non-EU European states, and the Americas
  • Division of Operations C - Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia
  • Office for Verification in Iran

Each Division conducts an evaluation of the consistency of the State's declared nuclear programme against the results of the Agency's verification activities under the relevant Safeguards Agreement, Additional Protocol (where applicable) and with all other safeguards-relevant information available to the Agency. In particular, they perform a comprehensive State evaluation based on all information available to the IAEA about the State's nuclear and nuclear-related activities.

Division of Concepts and Planning

This Division develops concepts, approaches and methods for safeguarding nuclear material, facilities and activities; prepares safeguards policy and guidance documentation; assists the Divisions of Operations with safeguards implementation issues; and supports advisory and policy-making bodies. It also conducts strategic planning for the Department and coordinates research and development activities, including the management of Member State Support Programmes. The Division also provides assistance to personnel from Member States through training, advisory missions and guidance documents. 

Division of Information Management

The central task of this Division is to operate and develop a pool of specialized information analysts and data processing specialists, as well as receiving, processing and analyzing accounting data and additional protocol declarations. The Division evaluates material balance as well as analytical results of nuclear material, non-nuclear material and environmental samples, and provides other statistical support. It also collects, processes and analyzes scientific, technical and political literature and geospatial information, and develops and implements new information collection, processing and analysis techniques and methodologies.

Division of Technical and Scientific Services

The Division provides scientific and technical support to the Divisions of Operations. This includes the design, development, testing, calibration, installation and maintenance of safeguards equipment; performance and contamination monitoring of equipment; and inspection logistics.

Office of Safeguards Analytical Services

The Office is in charge of the analysis of nuclear material and environmental swipe samples, the provision of associated sampling and quality control materials, and the coordination of sample shipment logistics and cooperation with Member State institutions in the Network of Analytical Laboratories. The Office comprises the Safeguards Analytical Laboratories, which include the Environmental Sample Laboratory and the Nuclear Material Laboratory, including an On-Site Laboratory in Rokkasho, Japan. It also includes a Coordination and Support Section, responsible for the planning, coordination and reporting of the analytical results provided by the Network; radiation protection; quality management; and training and other technical support. 

Office of Information and Communications Systems

Within the Department of Safeguards, the Office of Information and Communication Systems is the centre of competence for the specification, development and maintenance of information and communication technology (ICT) systems and for the management of all ICT infrastructure and services to support the Department. 

Head of the Department of Safeguards

Tero Varjoranta

Head of the Department of Safeguards

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