Safeguards Agreements

The vast majority of safeguards agreements are those that have been concluded by the IAEA with non-nuclear-weapon States (NNWSs) party to the NPT. Under the NPT, these States have committed not to produce or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons and to place all of their nuclear material and activities under IAEA safeguards and to allow the IAEA to verify their commitments.

Article VI.F of the IAEA Statute provides the Board of Governors with the authority to carry out the functions of the IAEA which are set out in Article III.A of the Statute including, inter alia, the establishment and administration of safeguards.

When the Board of Governors approves a safeguards agreement, it authorizes the Director General to conclude and subsequently implement the agreement.

Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements

All NNWSs party to the NPT, as well as States party to the regional nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties (NWFZ Treaties), are required to conclude Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements (CSAs) with the IAEA. Such agreements are concluded on the basis of INFCIRC/153 (Corrected). A State undertakes to accept IAEA safeguards on all nuclear material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere. Under these agreements, the IAEA has the right and obligation to ensure that safeguards are applied on all such nuclear material for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

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Small Quantities Protocols

As a means to minimize the burden of safeguards activities in those CSA States with little or no nuclear activities, an SQP was introduced by the IAEA in the early 1970s. In 2005, the IAEA Board of Governors, as a safeguards strengthening measure, approved a modified text of the Small Quantities Protocols (SQP).

Status of Small Quantities Protocols

Guidance Documents
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Item-specific Safeguards Agreements

Agreements of this type cover only nuclear material, non-nuclear material, facilities and other items specified in the safeguards agreements. They are based on the safeguards procedures established in INFCIRC/66/Rev.2 and its earlier versions. States parties to such agreements undertake not to use nuclear material, facilities or other items subject to the agreement for the manufacture of any nuclear weapon or to further any military purpose. The IAEA implements safeguards pursuant to such agreements in three States that are not party to the NPT.

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Voluntary Offer Agreements

The five NPT nuclear-weapon States have concluded safeguards agreements covering some or all of their peaceful nuclear activities. Under the Voluntary Offer Agreements (VOAs), facilities are notified to the IAEA by the State concerned and offered for the application of safeguards. The IAEA applies safeguards under VOAs to nuclear material in selected facilities.

Voluntary Offer Agreements with NPT Declared Nuclear Weapon States
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Additional Protocols

These are designed for States having any type of safeguards agreement with the IAEA. States with CSAs which decide to conclude additional protocols must accept all provisions of the Model Protocol Additional (published in INFCIRC/540 (Corrected)), which was approved by the Board of Governors in 1997. States with item-specific or voluntary offer agreements may accept and implement those measures of the Model Additional Protocol that they choose.

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Status of the Additional Protocol

Small Quantities Protocols Guidance

Item-specific Safeguards Agreements

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