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Implementation of IAEA Safeguards in 1996


The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meeting in Vienna, from 9 - 13 June 1997, reviewed the implementation of IAEA safeguards last year.

In 1996, the Secretariat did not find any indication of the diversion of nuclear material, or of the misuse of any facility, equipment, or non-nuclear material, which had been declared and placed under safeguards. Therefore, it concluded that the nuclear material and other items which had been declared and placed under safeguards remained in peaceful use or were otherwise accounted for. However, the IAEA is still unable to verify the initial declaration made by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the DPRK continues to be in non-compliance with its NPT safeguards agreement.

At the end of 1996, safeguards agreements were in force with 131 States (and Taiwan, China). Of these, 68 States (and Taiwan, China) had nuclear activities and were inspected, the majority under comprehensive safeguards agreements arising from the NPT, the Tlatelolco Treaty, the Rarotonga Treaty, and the "Guadalajara Declaration" (Agreement between Argentina and Brazil for the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy). Safeguards were also implemented in five States with safeguards agreements covering specified nuclear or non-nuclear material, facilities or equipment and at designated installations in the five nuclear weapon States.

There were 916 nuclear facilities and other locations which contained nuclear material and were subject to IAEA safeguards at the end of 1996. Of these, 574 were inspected at least once in 1996. A total of 2476 inspections were carried out, requiring 10 831 person-days of inspection effort. Inspections focused primarily on activities and locations involving the production, processing or storage of nuclear material from which nuclear weapons could be readily manufactured.

In 1996, the IAEA continued to experience some technical difficulties with equipment and administrative problems with the designation of inspectors and the obtaining of visas. Negotiations with Member States were held in an attempt to resolve these problems.

The expenditure from the Safeguards Regular Budget for 1996 was US $87 021 909. In addition, extrabudgetary funds of US $8 453 747 were contributed by eight Member States. The provision by several Member States of extrabudgetary funds for equipment procurement helped to alleviate previous shortages of instruments and facilitated the replacement of some obsolete equipment. In the areas of research and development and implementation support, the Department of Safeguards benefited from the 16 technical support programmes of Member States and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

Despite positive trends in efficiency and the recent increase in the number of posts in the Safeguards Department, the IAEA cannot continue to meet an expanding workload without more resources.

Major Events

* An open ended committee (Committee 24), established in June 1996 by the Board of Governors, began to negotiate a model protocol additional to safeguards agreements to allow implementation of complementary measures (Part 2 of the programme). These negotiations continued into 1997.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018


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