My colleague Andreas Persbo, the director of the UK-based VERTIC, has recently highlighted the existence of a very useful resource provided by the IAEA. The page, which includes a newly-released document entitled Guidance for States Implementing Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements, helps to shed light on the “ how, what, when and why of practical safeguards implementation”.
While some may not find this particularly sexy or thrilling, it is where the rubber meets the road for keeping tabs on nuclear materials and other resources. Its how the IAEA does it work, down in the weeds, in the dark recesses of nuclear facilities around the world. In its own words:
“The safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are a central part of international efforts to stem the spread of nuclear weapons. In implementing safeguards, the IAEA plays an instrumental, independent verification role, ensuring that States’ safeguards commitments are being respected….This Guidance is principally intended for State and regional safeguards regulatory authorities and facility operators….[and] addresses the legal obligations of States and the IAEA in the implementation of safeguards agreements and protocols thereto.”
Useful stuff indeed.