6 – Introduction to Nuclear Safeguards & Security: IAEA Safeguards Objectives and Components


So the objectives of IAEA safeguards, if we
take a little closer look, the first objective is timely detection of diversion of significant
quantities of nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities to the manufacture of nuclear
weapons or of other nuclear explosive devices, or for purposes unknown and the deterrence
of such diversion by the risk of early detection. The second objective is the detection of undeclared
nuclear material and activities in a state, so those two objectives work together to prevent
further proliferation from civilian nuclear programs. So now let’s take a look at IAEA safeguards
system implementation, and the four general phases of safeguards system implementation. The first begins with collecting and evaluating
information. What facilities does a state have? What activities are they conducting? And then from that information, developing
a safeguards approach, how are safeguards applied at a facility or facilities within
a State? And then once the safeguards approach has
been developed and applied, the IAEA can move onto planning, conducting and evaluating safeguards
activities. Whether that’s inspections, other methods
to verify the non-diversion and misuse of nuclear facilities, and then from those safeguards
activities, the IAEA can draw safeguards conclusions. Is the State living up to its treaty obligations
or safeguards obligations or is there some noncompliance or some inconsistency? Hopefully there isn’t. And then the IAEA goes back to collecting
and evaluating information, and back through this wheel of safeguards activities of the
IAEA. There are specifically several components
of the IAEA system that the system involves, the first being nuclear material accountancy,
and that is simply accounting for all of the nuclear materials that are in a facility or
State. The next is containment and surveillance of
nuclear facilities. Design verification, how is a nuclear facility
designed? how does the material flow through the facility? Are there any pathways that the material can
flow through that are unsafeguarded by the system that is in place? If there are then the IAEA needs to reevaluate
its safeguards approach and develop safeguards for those unsafeguarded pathways. This also includes the reports, the operator
reports that the nuclear facility operators declare to the IAEA. Accounting for all of their nuclear material,
where it is, the different facilities within the State. And then another component is the inspections
that the IAEA conducts to verify the nuclear material accountancy and verify the non-diversion
or misuse of nuclear facilities.

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