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Safeguarding the Atom: A Critical Appraisal
Edited by Jozef Goldblat

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Safeguards play a key role in verifying the effectiveness of restraints on the spread of nuclear weapons. This book is a study of the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency, an important element of the non-proliferation regime. It breaks new ground by focusing on the politics of safeguards, especially the political problems of the IAEA and of the day-to-day application of safeguards. It contains a critical appraisal and proposals for ways of improving existing procedures, and of adapting them to the political and technological changes of recent years.

Safeguarding the Atom gives an analysis of the following questions:

  • What are IAEA safeguards and how do they work?
  • How effective are they?
  • How can they be reinforced?
  • What sanctions can be imposed in the event of non-compliance?
IAEA safeguards represent the world's first and so far only attempt to verify an arms control agreement by systematic on-site inspection, and their applicability to other arms control measures is examined.


Part I. International safeguards
David Fischer
1. Overview
2. The three main elements
3. The political framework and constraints
4. The technical basis
5. The risk of secret nuclear plants
6. Limits to the present approach
7. Problems with safeguards methods
8. Problems with safeguards procedures
9. SAGSI and SIR
10. Regional safeguards systems, EURATOM and Japan
11. Defects of the safeguards documents
12. The IAEA's interfaces with states
13. Trigger lists, the London Club and INFCE
14. New institutions
15. The need for new perceptions
16. IAEA safeguards and arms control

Part II. Sanctions
Paul Szasz
IAEA safeguards: sanctions

Part III. Conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1. Facts about the IAEA
Appendix 2. Safeguards techniques and equipment
Appendix 3. Nuclear plants under construction or operating in the developing countries outside Europe (power and research reactors and significant fuel facilities)
Appendix 4. The IAEA safeguards system of 1965-68, INFCIRC/66 Rev. 2
Appendix 5. The IAEA model NPT safeguards agreement of 1971, INFCIRC/153
Appendix 6. Duration and termination of INFCIRC/66 agreements, GOV/1621 of 1973
Appendix 7. The IAEA Inspector's Document of 1961, GC(V)INF/39
Appendix 8. Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers of 1977, INFCIRC/254
Appendix 9. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
Appendix 10. Status of the implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and of the NPT safeguards agreements, as of 1 January 1985
Appendix 11. Non-NPT safeguards agreements

About the editor
Jozef Goldblat, senior researcher in charge of the arms control and disarmament programme at SIPRI since 1969, has prepared conclusions and a set of recommendations for this book. Having studied problems of arms control since the 1950s and been involved in disarmament negotiations in different capacities, he has published widely and gained international recognition for his scholarship in the field.

About the authors
David Fischer, formerly Assistant Director in charge of the IAEA's external relations, provides a comprehensive review of international safeguards and their strengths and weaknesses. He suggests ways in which they might be strengthened in the face of technological and political change and of attempts to circumvent or frustrate their efficient operation.

Paul Szasz, formerly a legal and safeguards officer of the IAEA and now a Director in the UN Office for Legal Affairs, describes the political and legal aspects of non-compliance with the safeguards obligations.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN 0-85066-306-7 - hardback, 243 pp.


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