4 – Introduction to Nuclear Safeguards & Security: Legal Agreements for IAEA Safeguards


In this section we’re going to take a look
at the legal agreements for IAEA safeguards. Safeguards agreements can be concluded between
the IAEA and a single State or even groups of States, and there may also be a regional
inspectorate involved with these agreements. If the safeguards agreement is with a group
of States there may be an independent or collaborative regional inspectorate that would be involved
in the safeguards agreements. The safeguards agreements can be required
from several different perspectives. One perspective is a nuclear supply agreement
with another State, and that would be when one State wants to purchase nuclear technology
from another State. The seller State, as a condition of the sale,
would require that safeguards be applied to the State that is purchasing the nuclear technology. Also treaty obligations. We discussed previously that the NPT and the
Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone treaties require their member States to conclude safeguards
agreements with the IAEA. And also self-imposition. A State could want to prove that it does not
have a clandestine nuclear weapons program or is diverting materials for the purpose
of nuclear weapons, so they invite the IAEA to safeguard a facility and conclude an agreement
based on that concept. And these agreements can come in various types,
the first being INFCIRC66, and this arrangement was developed prior to the NPT, and it is
facility and material-specific. So, if we take a look here, we have our fictional
sovereign State, and it has two nuclear facilities. With an INFCIRC66-type safeguards agreement,
safeguards could be applied to one facility, but not necessarily the other. This agreement would only allow the IAEA access
to the materials that are in this one facility and the activities that occur at this one
facility, not necessarily the other one. The next type of agreement is INFCIRC153,
and this comes after the negotiation of the NPT, and this includes comprehensive safeguards
agreements or CSA’s, and those cover all facilities and materials within a non-nuclear weapon
State party to the NPT. So, if we look back at our fictional sovereign
State here, if it has INFCIRC153 safeguards agreement, then both these nuclear facilities
are going to be included in the State’s safeguards agreements with the IAEA. INFCIRC153 also includes Voluntary Offer Agreements,
and these are specific to Nuclear Weapons States, so those States that are codified
as having nuclear weapons according to the NPT. They can conclude specific facility- specific
safeguards agreements. They are in the style of the comprehensive
safeguards agreements that non-nuclear weapon States have with the IEA, but they’re not
to all the nuclear materials and nuclear facilities within the State. It’s just the nuclear weapons State volunteers
a specific facility with specific materials and gives the IAEA specific access that it
negotiates. Then we also have the INFCIRC540 and Additional
Protocols, and this is more directed at undeclared proliferation activity. The INFCIRC153 and INFCIRC 66 safeguards agreements
are applied to declared facilities with declared materials. INFCIRC540 and the Additional Protocols gives
the IAEA the power to look at the rest of the State in general and allows for environmental
sampling, multi-entry visas for inspectors, and overall just increased access, so if there
is say some undeclared facility in our fictional State here, then the IAEA has some capability
to detect this activity going on in the State as a whole. So another concept we want to discuss is integrated
safeguards. Integrated safeguards is the optimum combination
of all safeguards measures available under Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional
Protocols, and integrated safeguards are applied to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency
in the meeting of IAEA safeguards obligations within the available resources. So the integrated safeguards concept is more
efficient than kind of a maximal level of all safeguards at all times. However, it is implemented in a State only
when the IAEA has drawn a conclusion of the absence of undeclared nuclear material and
activities. So in the beginning the IAEA may take an approach
where it applies just maximal safeguards at maximum levels. However, once the absence of undeclared nuclear
materials and activities can be verified and can be concluded, it may be possible to shift
to more of an integrated safeguards approach, which optimizes and streamlines things for
effectiveness, and efficiency under integrated safeguards measures may be applied at reduced
levels at certain facilities in some cases. Another concept that needs to be discussed
is non-compliance, and this refers to a violation by a State of its safeguards agreements with
the IAEA. So, some examples of issues of non-compliance
are: the diversion of nuclear material from declared nuclear activities. If this occurs then the State may be found
in non-compliance with its safeguards agreements. Another example could be failure to declare
nuclear material required to be placed under safeguards. If additional nuclear material is found that
was never declared, and the IAEA may find the State in non-compliance. If a State has an Additional Protocol, the
failure to declare nuclear material, nuclear activities, or nuclear-related activities
would be a cause for non-compliance. A violation of agreed recording and reporting
system, any obstruction of the activities of IAEA inspectors could be a cause for non-compliance
conclusion, or interference with the operation of safeguards equipment could also be grounds
for finding the State in non-compliance. If the State is found in non-compliance the
IAEA Director General shall report the non-compliance to the IAEA Board of Governors, which would
then call upon the recipient State to remedy any non-compliance that has been found. There are two general types of non-compliance,
the first being the diversion of nuclear material. This could be undeclared removal of declared
material. It could also be the use of a safeguarded
facility for the introduction production or processes processing of undeclared nuclear
materials. The other general form of non-compliance is
misuse of a facility and this could be the use of non-nuclear material, services, equipment,
facilities, or information specified and placed under safeguards to further any proscribed
purpose of or proliferation activity. There can also be cases of exemption from
IAEA safeguards. States may request exemption of nuclear material
up to certain specified limits. If the State has a very low-level low amount
of nuclear material within it, then it may request and be approved for exemption from
nuclear safeguards. A State may also request exemption for specific
nuclear material that is related to a specific intended use. This could be gram quantities that are used
as a sensing component within nuclear detection equipment and instruments or it could be plutonium
that has an isotopic concentration of plutonium-238 exceeding eighty percent. This high concentration of plutonium-238 makes
plutonium less desirable for nuclear weapons, so in that case the IAEA may grant an exemption
of safeguards. If the exempted material nuclear material
is to be processed or stored together with safeguarded material then safeguards have
to be reapplied. So if there’s specific material perhaps that
is used with a radiation detector for sensing as part of the detector then it is taken out
of safeguards and used with that detector. But if it’s ever reintroduced to an area or
stored together with safeguarded material then it has to be accounted–declared and
accounted for in accordance with the original safeguards. One final concept that we want to discuss
here is the State System of Accounting for and Control of nuclear material. Under a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement,
a State is required to establish and maintain a State System of Accounting for and Control
of nuclear material or SSAC, and the SSAC is –basically, it deals with the nuclear
material accountancy of all the materials within a State and needs to be maintained
with the IAEA.

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