What is the Additional Protocol?
The Additional Protocol is a legal document that supplements States’ IAEA safeguards agreements. It grants the IAEA complementary legal authority to verify a State’s safeguards obligations. The Additional Protocol is designed for all States having any of the three types of safeguards agreement with the IAEA. States with Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements (CSAs) which decide to conclude and bring into force additional protocols must accept all provisions of the Model Additional Protocol. States with item-specific or voluntary offer agreements may accept and implement those measures of the Model Additional Protocol that they choose.
Status of the Additional Protocol
While an Additional Protocol is voluntary, once it enters into force it becomes legally binding for the State. As of March 2016, 128 Additional Protocols are in force with 127 States and Euratom, and another 19 States have signed an Additional Protocol but have yet to bring it into force.
Objective of the Additional Protocol
Under the Additional Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites. For States with a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the Additional Protocol aims to fill the gaps in the information reported under Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements. By enabling the IAEA to obtain a much fuller picture of such States’ nuclear programmes, plans, nuclear material holdings and trade, the Additional Protocol helps to provide much greater assurance on the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in those States.
Strengthening Measures under the Additional Protocol
Additional Protocols concluded with States with Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements equip the IAEA with important additional verification measures that provide for broader access to information about the State’s nuclear programme, increased physical access by the IAEA and improved administrative arrangements.
These additional measures include:
- State provision of information about, and IAEA access to, all parts of a State’s nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mines to nuclear waste and other locations where nuclear material intended for non-nuclear uses is present;
- State provision of information on, and IAEA short-notice access to, all buildings on a site;
- State provision of information about, and IAEA access to, a State’s nuclear fuel cycle research and development activities not involving nuclear material;
- State provision of information on the manufacture and export of sensitive nuclear-related equipment and material, and IAEA access to manufacturing and import locations in the State;
- IAEA collection of environmental samples beyond declared locations, when deemed necessary by the IAEA; and
- a simplified procedure for designation of IAEA inspectors, the issuance of multiple entry/exit visas and IAEA use of internationally established systems of communications.
Under an Additional Protocol, the IAEA may carry out complementary access to assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities, to resolve a question or an inconsistency relating to correctness and completeness of the information provided by a State, and to confirm the decommissioned status of a facility or location outside facilities (LOFs), such as in hospitals, where nuclear material was customarily used.
Background of the Additional Protocol
The IAEA’s experience in Iraq and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the early 1990s demonstrated that, although IAEA safeguards had worked well with regard to verification activities on declared nuclear material and facilities, the IAEA was not well-equipped to detect undeclared nuclear material and activities in States with Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements. This set the stage for far-reaching efforts to strengthen the system of IAEA safeguards. At the end of 1993, the IAEA embarked on a broad programme (‘Programme 93+2’) to further strengthen safeguards implementation under CSAs by enhancing the IAEA’s ability to consider a State as a whole. As part of ‘Programme 93+2’, measures designed to improve the IAEA’s ability to detect undeclared nuclear material and activities in States with CSAs were presented to the IAEA Board of Governors. Some of these measures – such as the early provision of design information, environmental sampling and the use of satellite imagery – could be implemented under the existing legal authority provided for in CSAs (‘Part 1 measures’), while others – such as access to other buildings on the site of a facility, and additional declarations from the State regarding nuclear-related research and development – required complementary legal authority in order to be implemented (‘Part 2 measures’). In 1997, the IAEA Board of Governors approved the Model Additional Protocol.