IAEA Resources

The Importance of International Safeguards

With growing interest worldwide in harnessing nuclear power to meet energy security needs, it is crucial for countries to support and abide by international safeguards systems that ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technologies and materials. APSN is committed to implementing safeguards mechanisms in the most effective and efficient way possible in the Asia-Pacific region.


Countries that have joined the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) have pledged not to acquire nuclear weapons and to accept safeguards as negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  INFCIRC/153 (corrected) and INFCIRC/540 (corrected) are the two IAEA documents that serve as the basis for safeguards agreements negotiated between these countries and the IAEA. Under safeguards requirements, NPT signatories must place all their nuclear materials under safeguards and report to the IAEA, which deploy inspectors who are responsible for verifying the correctness and completeness of a state’s declaration of their nuclear activities.  In essence, international nuclear safeguards provide assurances to the international community that civilian nuclear material is not being used for the illicit manufacture of nuclear weapons.


Today, over 170 countries have safeguards agreements in force with IAEA. All APSN member states have concluded a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA pursuant to the NPT.


Considerable human and technological capacity is required on part of state’s safeguards authorities to effectively implement their safeguards obligations. To address this challenge, APSN members work together to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of safeguards in the region by

(1) sharing appropriate knowledge on nuclear safeguards;
(2) coordinating the provision of nuclear safeguards technical assistance;
(3) conducting virtual discussions and sponsoring training workshops on safeguards applications and practices. 

These activities are designed to support the establishment of sustainable and autonomous national and regional nuclear safeguards activities.

For More Information:
Text of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons: http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc140.pdf
Text of INFCIRC/153 (Corrected): http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc153.pdf  
Text of INFCIRC/540 (Corrected): www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/1997/infcirc540c.pdf
IAEA Safeguards and Verification Page: http://www.iaea.org/safeguards/sv.html 
IAEA Service Series 33: Safeguards Implementation Practices Guide on Provision of Information to the IAEA: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/SVS_33_web.pdf
IAEA Safeguards 2016: Serving Nuclear Non-Proliferation: https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/16/09/safeguards_brochure.pdf