IAEA Expands Range of Partners in Support of Nuclear Verification Mission

To complement the long-standing support of its member states, the IAEA is now expanding its range of partners in support of its nuclear verification mission. These partners include civil society organizations, foundations, universities and the private sector.

“These partnerships provide the IAEA with an expanded pool of support,” said Massimo Aparo, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards. “This larger network of expertise can foster innovation, for example by suggesting new ways to adapt to the dynamic changing environment for our audit engagement.”

IAEA safeguards are technical measures incorporated into safeguards agreements, which are implemented by the IAEA to provide the international community with assurance that nuclear material remains used for peaceful purposes.

Non-traditional partnerships established

To date, the IAEA has formalized agreements with five organizations in this area and more are expected in the coming months. To date, agreements have been signed with the Institute for the Management of Nuclear Materials (INMM), the European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA), the Rosatom Technical Academy (RTA), the Center of energy and security studies (CENESS) and the Center for Research, Training and Information (VERTIC).

The first of these agreements, signed in August 2021, cemented the long history of cooperation between IAEA, INMM and ESARDA. The IAEA will work with INMM and ESARDA to promote effective management of nuclear material, share experiences and knowledge, and promote best practices to address safeguards challenges. Partnership agreements also provide the framework for organizations to build their safeguards capacity, address emerging technologies with potential safeguards implications, explore advancements in verification and monitoring techniques, and work on in favor of gender parity in nuclear verification. As in previous years, INMM and ESARDA will also participate as cooperating organizations in the 2022 Symposium on International Safeguards.

In September, the IAEA also formalized its long-standing partnership with the Rosatom Technical Academy. The Rosatom Technical Academy is already an IAEA collaborating center in three different programmatic areas: nuclear sciences and applications, nuclear security and nuclear energy. In extending the partnership to the field of nuclear verification, cooperation will focus on the training of inspectors, research and development of instruments and capacity building in safeguards for IAEA member states.

In November, the IAEA signed a partnership agreement with the Moscow-based think tank, the Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS). He will work with CENESS to encourage international dialogue on global and regional non-proliferation issues. The partnership will also promote exchanges between experts on innovative ideas to strengthen safeguards and the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear technologies.

More recently, at the beginning of December, the IAEA and VERTIC signed practical agreements to cooperate in strengthening the knowledge and capacity of States in safeguards by using innovative learning methods and by monitoring the field of emerging technologies with implications. potential for guarantees. The future and the benefits of non-traditional partners The implementation of IAEA safeguards faces many challenges. These include the emergence of new technologies that have potential implications for nuclear non-proliferation. The new partnership agreements will encourage joint thinking to meet these challenges in innovative ways and facilitate the adaptation of nuclear verification to future needs. The new partnership agreements aim to provide support for IAEA safeguards, in particular in the areas detailed in the research and development plan for safeguards.

“The research and development plan for safeguards is the primary means by which we communicate our needs for safeguards support,” said Jenni Rissanen, team leader of the Strategic Planning and External Coordination Section. of the IAEA Department of Safeguards. “These new partnership arrangements will enable proactive and transparent communication with non-traditional stakeholders to help mobilize expertise and resources to meet our most pressing support needs.”

Learn about the IAEA safeguards work and other initiatives the Agency works with to ensure safeguards continuity in the future, such as the Emerging Technologies Workshop.