Additional Protocol

The Additional Protocol is not a stand-alone agreement, but rather a protocol to a safeguards agreement that provides additional tools for verification. In particular, it significantly increases the IAEA’s ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material in States with comprehensive safeguards agreements.

In May 1997, the IAEA Board of Governors approved the Model Additional Protocol contained in INFCIRC/540 (Corrected) and requested the Director General to use this model as a standard text for the conclusion of additional protocols to comprehensive safeguards agreements.

The Model Additional Protocol was designed for all States that have concluded any of the three types of safeguards agreements with the IAEA. States with comprehensive safeguards agreements (CSAs) that 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 are prepared to accept.

Status of the Additional Protocol

As of 31 March 2023, Additional Protocols are in force with 141 States and Euratom. Another 13 States have signed an Additional Protocol but have yet to bring it into force.

Strengthening the IAEA’s safeguards implementation

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, it was not well-equipped to detect undeclared nuclear material and activities in States with CSAs.

At the end of 1993, the IAEA embarked on a broad programme to further strengthen safeguards implementation under CSAs by enhancing the IAEA’s ability to detect undeclared nuclear material and activities. As part of the so-called Programme 93+2, measures designed to strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of IAEA safeguards for States with CSAs were presented to the IAEA Board of Governors.

Some of these strengthening measures, referred to as “Part 1” 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 the CSAs, while others – such as State provision of information about, and access to, all parts of a State’s nuclear fuel cycle, from mines to nuclear waste – required complementary legal authority for them to be implemented. These additional “Part 2” measures led to the development and approval of the Model Additional Protocol in 1997.

Objective of the Additional Protocol

Under the Additional Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and locations in the States. For States with a CSA, the Additional Protocol aims to fill the gaps in the information reported under a CSA. By enabling the IAEA to obtain a much fuller picture of such States’ nuclear programmes, plans, nuclear material holdings and trade, the Additional Protocol increases the IAEA’s ability 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 CSAs equip the IAEA with important additional verification measures that strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of IAEA safeguards.  These measures include broader access to information about the State’s nuclear programme, increased physical access by the IAEA and improved administrative arrangements. Read more →

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