International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international body undertaking the nuclear inspectorate in all countries across the globe to monitor and control manufacture and use of nuclear weapons on any grounds. The body uses safeguard agreements in all nation states covered under the arm of the organization. Safeguard agreements are all activities through which the IEAE verifies the status of a state in living up to the international committee expectations regarding nuclear programs. They ensure that a state does not involve in any of the programs to use nuclear weapons. The safeguards agreement was in application starting December 9, 1980. At that time, countries like United States did submit a list of the 200 eligible facilities to the IAEA. This included facilities under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission license and the Department of Energy eligible license-exempt facilities (Mark and Michael 1997).
The IAEA has documents important in making it possible to govern nuclear activities in the regions. The two most prominent documents include Information Circulars and Conventions & Legal Agreements. The IAEA is the main depositary of all important conventions and legal agreements internationally. Additionally, the states entrust the Agency responsibilities under agreement and treaties that States adopt. States adopt both international and regional treaties, agreements and conventions related to the agency’s operations. These agreements in this category include, Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons treaty, Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons treaty in Latin America, treaty on African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and treaty on South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone among others. The documents serve as a guideline into the operations of the state controlling activities under the nuclear field. They abide the nation state members to practicing avoidance of nuclear weapon production.
The other main document is the Information Circulars in the operations of IAEA. The publication of these documents is by IAEA. They are published in a web listing with links to enable easy following for the member states. Numbers for instance 001-050 or 051-100 does their classification. They can also be through year of publication or by the country in the limelight. They are important in bringing matters of interest to the member states attention. This way, member states are up-to-date on the IAEA proceedings for a smooth operation of the agency (Haginoya 2005).
Nuclear material accountancy envelops two major areas of safeguards implementation. This includes the Limited-scope safeguards and Full-scope safeguards. Limited-scope safeguards are under IAEA document INFCIRC/66. They are safeguards placed relatively on individual plants, supply agreements and shipments of nuclear fuel. They apply between the non-participants states in NPT and AIAE for instance Pakistan and India. In this category, nation states exporting nuclear equipments must always place the exports under the respective safeguards by the individual recipient.
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For the Full-scope safeguards, they are under the document INFCIRC/153 in the IAEA. These are mandatory safeguards. They allow nuclear materials used in peaceful nuclear activities in a country’s territory or under the country’s control. The NPT non-nuclear weapon state parties are under these safeguards (Mark and Michael 1997). A good example is the Japan latest conclusion of the agreements on atomic energy co-operation bilaterally with France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. In the agreements, Japan undertakes the nuclear material, facilities and equipment supplied by the respective countries, for use solely on peaceful purposes. In this respect, the parties have made requests to IAEA for the application of safeguards to the materials (Haginoya 2005). There is a possibility of the state removing the nuclear material from the safeguards. This is under the protocol, closer co-operation between the State and the IAEA systems for regional accounting for and relative control of nuclear material within the particular Member State. The U.S. in signing the protocols gave an offer of excluding all activities of direct national security importance. It therefore excluded safeguards on the use of respective nuclear material. This agreement gave a provision that, the United States could at any time remove a facility from the safeguard list should the facility be directly associated with activities of national security significance in the country. It also stipulated that United States had the authority of transferring nuclear material from all possible eligible facilities to a location of their choice including even the non-eligible facilities (Mark and Michael 1997 p.2).
Under additional Protocol, there are conditions that require a state to report directly to the IAEA on noticing the export or import of nuclear equipment and its equivalent. This is under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements includingState voluntaryreporting of nuclear material imports and exports from any member state. The state must provide information to the IAEA inspector on the access to all parts of a nation state in question. The state must also provide information on all buildings on the respective nuclear site to the IAEA in case of a short notice regarding possession of nuclear weapons. The state must provide a notice of at least 24 hours of reporting before the IAEA acts. For the advance notice, at least two hours is mandatory for reporting. This should come along with the verification of design information or ad hoc inspections at that particular site (Haginoya 2005).
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