Safeguards in practice

The field of nuclear technology is developing continuously. The amount of nuclear material and the number of nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards are growing steadily.

Since 2010, 15 new safeguards agreements and 30 new additional protocols have entered into force. The amount of nuclear material under safeguards has increased by 24 per cent and the number of nuclear facilities under safeguards has risen by 12 per cent. Demands are also increasing as more facilities are decommissioned, generating additional needs to verify nuclear material packaging, movement and disposition.

IAEA safeguards will need to keep evolving. Further improvements and optimization are necessary to guarantee credible safeguards and to be able to respond effectively and promptly to new verification demands from IAEA Member States. These will be achieved by making full use of available modern technologies, by streamlining internal processes and by encouraging States, where necessary, to improve their cooperation to implement safeguards

Key safeguards facts in 2021

  • 186 States with safeguards agreements in force of which 138 had additional protocols in force.
  • 178 of these states had comprehensive safeguards agreements, 5 had voluntary offer agreements, and 3 had item-specific safeguards agreements.
  • 70 States with comprehensive safeguards agreements had amended small quantities protocols, and 26 States with comprehensive safeguards agreements had original small quantities protocols.
  • 226,116 significant quantities of nuclear material were under IAEA safeguards (one significant quantity is the approximate amount of nuclear material for which the possibility of manufacturing a nuclear explosive device cannot be excluded).
  • 1,334 nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities were under IAEA safeguards.
  • 3,042 in-field verifications were conducted, equating to 12,767 days in the field.
  • 2,136 days under quarantine in country.
  • 27,900 seals installed on nuclear material, facility critical equipment or IAEA safeguards equipment at nuclear facilities.
  • 1,378 surveillance cameras maintained at nuclear facilities.
  • 473 environmental samples and 705 nuclear material samples collected.
  • 148 facilities remotely monitored.
  • €147 million regular budget plus €23 million extrabudgetary.
  • 873 staff from 97 countries.

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