IAEA Safeguards in Practice

The purpose of IAEA safeguards is to verify States’ undertakings under their respective safeguards agreements with the IAEA. Safeguards implementation is based on an annual cycle. The safeguards conclusions drawn by the IAEA provide assurance to the international community that States are abiding by their safeguards obligations under those agreements. In this regard, the IAEA seeks to provide credible assurance relevant to the verification it undertakes pursuant to all types of safeguards agreements.

IAEA safeguards implementation comprise four fundamental processes, namely:

  1. Collection and evaluation of information,
  2. Development of a safeguards approach for a State,
  3. Planning, conduct and evaluation of safeguards activities, including in-the-field and at Headquarters, and
  4. Drawing of safeguards conclusions.

These processes are illustrated in the figure below. Throughout these processes, the IAEA performs a variety of safeguards activities, from the measurement of nuclear material items in facilities to the analysis of safeguards relevant information at Headquarters.



Main steps in IAEA Safeguards implementation.

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Last update: 23 August 2016