Regional Safeguards Issues
Currently the highest priority for development of IAEA safeguards is to strengthen detection capability for undeclared nuclear activities. Necessary actions include improving safeguards technology and methodology, further developing information treatment, and universalising the Additional Protocol.
Another major priority is to prepare for the expansion of nuclear programs, including in further countries, and for the introduction of new fuel cycle technologies. This involves both effectiveness and efficiency challenges. There are several areas where states can help the IAEA achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency, both in safeguards implementation and in availability of information to support safeguards conclusions. With safeguards, the IAEA can benefit through stronger partnerships with national authorities. With information, establishment of transparency and confidence-building mechanisms can make an important contribution to safeguards objectives. In both these areas, regional arrangements have the potential to play an important role.
Today there are two regional safeguards systems, Euratom and ABACC. There is potential for new regional arrangements, particularly where states are looking for further confidence-building measures additional to IAEA safeguards. Possibilities include the Middle East, South Asia and the Korean Peninsula. In the Asia-Pacific region, further development of nuclear governance, encompassing nuclear safety and security, could also include safeguards ? the “Asiatom” concept might be explored.
In safeguards implementation, a practical step has been taken through establishment in 2009 of the Asia-Pacific Safeguards Network (APSN). APSN’s objective is to strengthen the proficiency of national safeguards authorities through training, experience sharing, collaborative programs, etc. This assists the IAEA and at the same time strengthens relationships amongst the national authorities, contributing to regional transparency and confidence-building.