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.