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Symposium on International Safeguards: Building Future Safeguards Capabilities

5–8 November 2018, Vienna, Austria

Symposium on International Safeguards 2018

The IAEA holds a Symposium on International Safeguards every four years in order to engage the broader safeguards community in addressing challenges and seizing opportunities to strengthen the effectiveness of safeguards implementation.

The 2018 symposium’s theme is 'Building Future Safeguards Capabilities', and will look ahead to emerging technologies and innovative approaches with potential for strengthening and streamlining the implementation of safeguards and explore  partnerships and mechanisms of relevance going forward.

To learn more about IAEA safeguards, click here.


The objectives of the symposium are to:

  • Innovate - by generating new ideas on methods and technologies to substantially improve the IAEA’s technical capabilities and achieve efficiencies in the way it works
  • Partner - by mobilizing partnerships to further explore new ideas, bring innovation into the work of the Department of Safeguards, and support long term safeguards research and development needs; and
  • Improve - by engaging the safeguards community in sharing experiences, building capabilities, and finding ways to streamline, simplify and improve the implementation of safeguards in the field and at headquarters.


The symposium will be outcome oriented and focused on a limited set of topics, looking forward and seeking innovation to address challenges and seize opportunities. The programme will feature opening and closing plenary sessions and several topical interactive sessions addressing four themes.

Three special events are also planned: a ‘Leading Women of Safeguards’ panel discussing gender balance; a safeguards networking and recruitment event ‘Working at the IAEA’; and a workshop and visit to  the Safeguards Analytical Laboratories in Seibersdorf.

Sessions will be designed to facilitate interaction among the participants, with short presentations by speakers and panellists, followed by facilitated discussions to stimulate dialogue; identify ideas and solutions; and collect key insights and promising opportunities for follow-up.


The symposium sessions will address four thematic areas, described below.

  1. Addressing emerging safeguards challenges
    The topics under this theme will look at a selected set of known challenges facing the safeguards community in the near term, including the potential impact on safeguards of advances and developments such as additive manufacturing, distributed supply chains, and transnational flows of goods and information.
  2. Leveraging technological advancements for safeguards application
    Topics include safeguards applications of advances in: artificial intelligence; analysis, integration and visualization of multi-source data; shared ledger technology; image processing; advanced analytics; robotics and lasers.
  3. Preparing for safeguards for new facilities, processes and campaigns
    Topics under this theme address safeguards considerations related to selected new reactor designs which are near the stage of commercial deployment, and to nuclear new builds, as well as safeguards challenges associated with increasing decommissioning activities and disposition of spent fuel and waste.
  4. Shaping the future of safeguards implementation
    The sessions under this theme will seek innovation in the day-to-day implementation of safeguards, looking at new ways of working smarter, streamlining and simplifying, building capabilities, resolving challenges and creating effective cooperation. The focus will be on innovation and improvement, involving all stakeholders and partners across a broad range of safeguards activities.

Guidance on the specific topics under each theme are elaborated in the online abstract submission system here.

Key deadlines

  • Extended deadline: 10 April 2018: Submission of Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and abstract (Abstracts must be submitted through the online submission system).
  • 27 April 2018: Submission of Grant Application Form (Form C)
  • 18 May 2018: Notification of acceptance of papers
  • 29 August 2018: Submission of accepted full paper (8 pages max.)


Limited space will be available for displays/ exhibits during the symposium.


To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a 'green meeting' according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel. This means that the IAEA will keep the ecological impact of the Conference as low as possible. The Vienna International Centre is already a workplace that is powered by carbon neutral electricity from 100% renewable sources. There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

The IAEA as organizer will contribute to making the Conference a Green Meeting. Delegates can have a role in this endeavour and are encouraged to choose environmentally friendly options when planning their participation. Small actions can make a big difference: choosing environmentally certified accommodation, giving feedback via the IAEA Conference and Meetings app, sorting waste for recycling, and returning name badges - these will all help to reduce the environmental impact. Information on how to effectively contribute to climate protection, both locally and globally can be found here

Vienna has an efficient network of public transport - buses, trains, trams and underground lines - that covers most of the city. The IAEA encourages participants to make full use of these greener modes of transportation.

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference and  exhibitions. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the Apple iTunes Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store.


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