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More on Safeguards agreements

Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements

All non-nuclear-weapon States party to the NPT, as well as States parties to the regional nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties, are required to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements 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.

Voluntary offer agreements

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

Voluntary Offer Agreements with NPT Declared Nuclear Weapon States:

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 this document’s 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.

Additional Protocol

The Additional Protocol is designed for States that have any type of safeguards agreement with the IAEA. States with CSAs that decide to conclude additional protocols must accept all provisions of the Model Protocol Additional, 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 are prepared to accept.

Status of the Additional Protocol

Small Quantities Protocols

The small quantities protocol is a protocol that may be concluded in conjunction with a comprehensive safeguards agreement. It has been available since 1971 and its text was standardized in 1974 (original small quantities protocol).

The original small quantities protocol was made available to States with minimal or no nuclear material and no nuclear material in a “facility.” The original small quantities protocol suspends the application of many provisions of the comprehensive safeguards agreement (in Part II). While this simplifies the implementation of safeguards in a State with an original small quantities protocol, it also results in a number of limitations.

In 2005, the IAEA Board of Governors decided that the small quantities protocols would continue to be available with a revised standardized text that should be used for any future small quantities protocols and called on States with original small quantities protocols to adopt as soon as possible the revised small quantities protocol. The revised small quantities protocol reduces the number of provisions of the comprehensive safeguards agreement that are held in abeyance and key provisions related to reporting nuclear material and the conduct of inspections are operative.

Status of Small Quantities Protocols

Guidance Documents:

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