The International Atomic Energy Agency and safeguards

Ian Bellany

in Curbing the Spread of Nuclear Weapons

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780719067969
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701324 | DOI:
The International Atomic Energy Agency and safeguards

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‘Safeguards’ is the slightly euphemistic term officially used to describe the measures taken by the Agency (or Vienna Agency) independently to verify the declarations made by states to the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning their nuclear material (principally enriched uranium and plutonium) and the uses it is put to have peaceful ends. This chapter looks at safeguards in the context of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, whose effectiveness requires centrally organised carrots and sticks. The deterrent apparatus is in two parts: the first involves the timely detection of an unauthorised diversion of nuclear material from peaceful to military purposes; the second part is the adverse consequences for the state in question of having been caught (economic sanctions, at a minimum). This chapter is much more concerned with detection and how this might most reliably be ensured in the triple context of: the limited resources for nuclear inspection; the requirement minimally to disrupt the national economic life of states; and the necessity of respecting the principle of sovereign equality between states.

Keywords: safeguards; nuclear material; Vienna Agency; carrots and sticks; detection; sovereign equality; states; International Atomic Energy Agency; Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty; nuclear inspection

Chapter.  12913 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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