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Nuclear Safeguards Conclusions Presented in 2016 Safeguards Implementation Report

IAEA Safeguards Environmental Sample Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

In 2016, the IAEA was able to conclude that for 69 countries all nuclear material remained in peaceful activities.  For another 104 countries, the Agency concluded that declared nuclear material remained in peaceful activities. This information was presented to the IAEA Board of Governors in the annual Safeguards Implementation Report (SIR) on 14 June 2017.

“Our drawing of safeguards conclusions is very important to Member States,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. “Safeguards conclusions are based on a rigorous technical evaluation of information, including that gathered by our inspectors in the field and expert analysis at our headquarters over the past year.”

The type of conclusion that the IAEA draws with respect to each State varies according to the type of safeguards agreement the State has in place with the IAEA. Click here to find out more about the different types of nuclear safeguards agreements.

It is only in countries with both a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol in force that the IAEA has sufficient information and access to provide credible assurances to the international community of both the non-diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.

For three States that are not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and have item-specific safeguards agreements in force, the Agency concluded that, for these States, nuclear material, facilities or other items to which safeguards had been applied remained in peaceful activities.

For the five NPT nuclear-weapon States that have voluntary offer agreements in force, the Agency concluded that nuclear material in selected facilities remained in peaceful activities or had been withdrawn from safeguards as provided for in the agreements.

In 2016, twelve States Parties to the NPT had yet to bring into force comprehensive safeguards agreements with the Agency as required by Article III of that Treaty. For these States Parties, the IAEA could not draw any safeguards conclusions.

The infographic below provides further information on the IAEA’s verification and monitoring activities conducted in 2016.

(Download the infographic)

What are Safeguards?

Safeguards are a set of technical measures by which the IAEA seeks to verify that a State is living up to its international undertakings not to use peaceful nuclear programmes for weapons purposes. Under the NPT, non-nuclear-weapon States are required to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA that obliges States to accept safeguards. Countries with a comprehensive safeguards agreement in force have to declare all nuclear material and facilities to the IAEA. The IAEA then independently verifies these declarations. This safeguards agreement can be supplemented with an additional protocol which significantly increases the IAEA’s ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material in a State.