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 2018

  • Safeguards were applied in 182 States; 174 of these states have comprehensive safeguards agreements, five have voluntary offer agreements and three have item-specific safeguards agreements.
  • At the end of 2018, Additional Protocols were in force in 134 States.
  • 212,814 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).
  • 1,314 nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities were under IAEA safeguards.
  • 3,011 in-field verifications were conducted, constituting 13,612 calendar days in the field.
  • The Agency verified 24,800 seals applied to nuclear material, facility critical equipment or Agency safeguards equipment at nuclear facilities.
  • The Agency deployed 1,563 surveillance cameras at nuclear facilities.
  • 968 nuclear material and environmental samples were collected by the Agency for analysis.
  • 936 commercial satellite images were acquired.
  • €138.7 million allocated to the regular budget and €29.9 million provided in extrabudgetary contributions.
  • 918 staff and contractors from 95 countries worked in the Department of Safeguards in 2018.

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