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APSN Surveys 2015: Report of Findings

During the latter half of 2015, the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Japan,1 conducted, on behalf of the APSN, surveys on training needs and providers in the Asia-Pacific region. The aim of the surveys is to assist the APSN to coordinate training activities and programs according to organizations’ and countries’ capabilities, resources and needs. This report, compiled by the ISCN, provides a summary of the findings from the 2015 surveys.

The Meaning of “Control” in “SSAC”

This paper considers historical, legal and technical bases for including “control” of nuclear material as part of a State’s system of accounting for and control of nuclear material (SSAC) and its role in the fulfillment of safeguards obligations. Nuclear material control is a set of technical and administrative measures that a regulatory body and operators engage in to ensure that nuclear material is not misused or removed from its assigned location without proper authorization and accounting. Each non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is required to conclude a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); this is done based on Information Circular 153. During the negotiation of the text of INFCIRC/153 in the early 1970s, States considered proposals for including specific requirements for the control of nuclear material but these proposals were ultimately rejected on the basis that the monitoring of such “physical security” measures was not within the IAEA’s safeguards mandate. Instead, each safeguards agreement relies on the State maintaining its SSAC and the IAEA applying predominantly accountancy measures to verify findings of the State’s system, including that nuclear material has not been removed from its declared location or misused. The IAEA’s safeguards guidance documents have recognized that measures taken by the State to control nuclear material remain crucial to effective safeguards implementation. Over time, the IAEA has also developed guidance in the field of nuclear security, which came to encompass nuclear material control. Although issued by the IAEA under the heading of security (and separately from the IAEA’s recommendations in the field of safeguards), recent publications on control in the Agency’s Nuclear Security Series are directly relevant to assisting States to meet their safeguards commitments effectively. Notwithstanding the dichotomy between nuclear safeguards and nuclear security in the IAEA’s guidance documents and its departmental structure, nuclear material control represents a shared set of tools for supporting States’ implementation of both safeguards and security. Practitioners in safeguards and security should be aware of this confluence and be able to manage potential areas of conflict.

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The Capacity-Building Support Needs of States with Small Quantities Protocols

Each non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is required to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, more than half of all non-nuclear-weapon States do not have significant inventories of nuclear material or nuclear facilities. Most of these States have concluded small quantities protocols (SQPs) to their CSAs. The original standard text for an SQP holds most of the procedures in Part II of the CSA in abeyance. Original SQPs significantly restricted the IAEA’s access to information about SQP States, limiting the Agency’s capability to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in those States. In 2005, the Board of Governors approved a revised text for SQPs, changing the eligibility criteria for an SQP and reducing the number of safeguards measures held in abeyance. Since 2005, the IAEA has encouraged States with Original SQPs to revise or rescind these protocols as a means of strengthening safeguards. As of October 2016, 38 States still have Original SQPs in force, while 56 have Revised SQPs. Many of these States have also concluded additional protocols (APs) to their CSAs. Many SQP States have little experience maintaining a State system of accounting for and control of nuclear material (SSAC), and limited government resources and technical capabilities available to do so. This paper discusses the unique capacity-building support needs of SQP States seeking to implement APs and Revised SQPs. The Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) provides capacity-building support to States, primarily in Asia. Since 2011, the ISCN has hosted an annual Regional Training Course on SSACs for 33 States, including 12 SQP States. This paper describes how the ISCN has helped to address the needs of SQP States through training, often alongside other States. Since each SQP State only has a small number of individuals responsible for administering the SSAC, this paper finds that careful scheduling and tailoring of training opportunities may also be useful in meeting the capacity-building support needs of SQP States, highlighting the importance of coordination among regional training providers.

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SQP Resources

In order to simplify certain procedures under IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements (CSA) for States that have little or no nuclear material and no nuclear material in a facility, the IAEA began making available, in 1971, a ‘Small Quantities Protocol’ (SQP), which held in abeyance the implementation of most of the detailed provisions of CSAs until such time as the quantities of nuclear material in a State exceeded certain limits or the State had nuclear material in a facility.

 

Handbook of International Nuclear Safeguards

The Handbook on Internation Safeguards consolidates the many International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards publications and resources into one single reference guide to serve as a training aid at safeguards training courses.

          

 

 

                                         

There is abundant literature on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards,
which deal with detailed and thorough features of safeguards. Information is, however,
scattered in a number of publications such as books on the history of the IAEA, detailed
authoritative Guidelines on safeguards implementation (published as “Services Series”
by the IAEA), handbooks on nuclear material accounting, and specialized manuals on
Non Destructive Assay. There are also short brochures and fact sheets with summary
information on the IAEA and safeguards. There are few, if any, mid-size reference
handbooks where information from authoritative sources is compiled in a succinct yet
comprehensive manner.

This Handbook is meant to fulfill this need by summarizing, in one single document,
information from several publications and sources. The Handbook is illustrated with a
number of photographs and diagrams that facilitate the understanding of safeguards
principles and technology. It will be provided to participants attending National,
Regional and International SSAC Training courses sponsored by the Integrated Support
Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security, ISCN.

This Handbook was prepared by staff of Integrated Support Center for Nuclear
Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency
(JAEA) with the support of experts from national laboratories of the U.S. Department of
Energy. The Handbook’s objective is to serve as a training aid at national, regional and
international safeguards training courses. It should be used as a reference material only.
ISCN/JAEA does not necessarily endorse any of the statements, information or opinions
presented in this handbook.

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