The IAEA’s Safeguards System as the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Verification Mechanism

By John Carlson, Vladimir Kuchinov, and Thomas Shea | NTI | May 2020

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of international efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system fulfills a vital role underpinning the NPT, reinforcing commitments to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and providing confidence that nuclear energy is used for exclusively peaceful purposes. Effective safeguards also are essential for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world. This paper explores how the IAEA safeguards system was created, its accomplishments and challenges, issues remaining in flux, and possible future directions.

John Carlson is a Member of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network, Counsellor to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, former Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, Chairman of the Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation, International Atomic Energy Agency;

Vladimir Kuchinov is Associate Professor at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, National Research Nuclear University, former Adviser to the Director General of Rosatom;

Thomas Shea is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists

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Source: NTI