(4) Cooperation with the IAEA
One of the most important measures to strengthen the effectiveness of the IAEA safeguards system is to promote the universal application of the Additional Protocol. Among the countries surveyed in this project, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the United States consider the Additional Protocol “an integral part” of the current IAEA safeguards system.
On the other hand, the NAM takes the position that, “additional measures related to safeguards shall not affect the rights of the [NNWS], which are already committed to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and have renounced the nuclear-weapon option.”87 At the 2019 NPT PrepCom, Brazil said “We are opposed, in particular, to any attempts to establish the Additional Protocol as the standard for non-proliferation verification under the NPT, which would accentuate the imbalance among the pillars of the Treaty beyond its breaking point.”88 Meanwhile, South Africa, which concluded the Additional Protocol in 2002, argued: “Whilst the Additional Protocol is a voluntary instrument, South Africa believes that it is an extremely important confidence building measure, especially with regard to those States with advanced nuclear programmes and facilities. It is our country’s view that the Additional Protocol is also indispensable in enabling the IAEA to provide credible assurances regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.”89
In a resolution titled “Strengthening the Effectiveness and Improving the Efficiency of Agency Safeguards,” adopted at the 2021 IAEA General Conference, the following points were stated, based on divergent views regarding the Additional Protocols:90
➢ “Bearing in mind that it is the sovereign decision of any State to conclude an additional protocol, but once in force, the additional protocol is a legal obligation, encourages all States which have not yet done so to conclude and to bring into force additional protocols as soon as possible and to implement them provisionally pending their entry into force in conformity with their national legislation.”
➢ “[I]n the case of a State with a comprehensive safeguards agreement supplemented by an additional protocol in force, these measures represent the enhanced verification standard for that State.”
The IAEA has developed and approved the “state-level approach (SLA)” based on a state-level concept (SLC) in which the Agency considers a broad range of information about a country’s nuclear capabilities and tailors its safeguards activities in each country accordingly, so as to make IAEA safeguards more effective and efficient.
According to the IAEA, as of June 2021, SLAs were developed and approved for implementation for 70 States with a CSA and an Additional Protocol in force, and a broader conclusion; 36 States with a CSA and an Additional Protocol in force but without a broader conclusion; 27 States with a CSA but no Additional Protocol in force; and one State with a Voluntary Offer Agreement and an AP in force (developing for two additional countries in 2020).91 In addition, the report also states that the SLA was developed for two countries (France and the United Kingdom) that have VOAs and Additional Protocols in force.92
Regarding research and development of safeguards technologies, under its long-term plan,93 the IAEA conducted the “Development and Implementation Support Programme for Nuclear Verification 2020-2021,”94 in which 20 countries (including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States) and the European Commission (EC) participated.
The countries surveyed that had outstanding obligations to the IAEA regular budget (as of September 17, 2021) were Brazil (also not paid up to the previous year), Chile (also not paid up to the previous year), Iran (also not paid up to the previous year), Mexico, Pakistan, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, and the United States.95
87 NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/WP.17, March 21, 2019.
88 “Statement by Brazil,” Cluster 2, 2019 NPT PrepCom, May 3, 2019. Argentina and Brazil conduct mutual inspections under the bilateral Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC). Brazil argues that it is a substitute for the Additional Protocol.
89 “Statement by South Africa,” Cluster 2, 2019 NPT PrepCom, May 2, 2019.
90 GC(65)/RES/12, September 2021.
91 GC(65)/16, July 21, 2021.
93 IAEA, “IAEA Department of Safeguards Long-Term R&D Plan, 2012-2023,” January 2013.
94 IAEA, “Development and Implementation Support Programme for Nuclear Verification 2020-2021,” January 2020.
95 GC(65)/INF/12, September 17, 2021.