On April 4, the IAEA's special committee on strengthening the IAEA's safeguards program approved a draft model protocol which will give the IAEA Secretariat authority to implement a wide range of new measures designed to provide high confidence assurances of the absence of a clandestine nuclear explosive program in countries with comprehensive NPT safeguards obligations. The draft protocol will be submitted to a special meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors in May for final approval. This approval is expected to be granted without extensive further debate. Among the new measures included in the protocol are:
1. A requirement for each country to submit to the IAEA Secretariat an "expanded" declaration of all its nuclear and nuclear-related activities.
2. A requirement to grant the IAEA Secretariat "complementary access" to all nuclear and nuclear-related activities in each country for the purpose of investigating questions or inconsistencies.
3. The right of the IAEA Secretariat to utilize all available information in formulating its verification conclusions, including information originating from National Technical Means.
4. A requirement to submit to the IAEA Secretariat comprehensive reports of exports of items on the Nuclear Suppliers Group Part One Trigger List.
5. The right of the IAEA Secretariat to deploy directed environmental monitoring techniques at declared nuclear and nuclear-related locations in order to provide assurances of the absence of undeclared nuclear activities.
6. The authority for the IAEA Secretariat to deploy wide area environmental monitoring techniques once these have been proven cost-effective.
7. The right of the IAEA Secretariat to conduct random short notice inspections at all nuclear and nuclear-related locations and of suspected undeclared nuclear activities, subject only to "managed access" provisions.
8. Relaxed visa requirements for IAEA safeguards inspectors.
This completes the action on the IAEA's safeguards strengthening program known as Program 93-Plus-2 and also helps fulfill a key decision of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, i.e., the endorsement in the Principles and Objectives document of the development of a strengthened NPT nuclear verification regime.
It also helps meet a key requirement of U.S. Government policy in support of the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, which stipulates that an essential condition for nuclear disarmament is the development and effective implemenation of a credible verification regime.
Further details can be obtained from the IAEA Secretariat or the U.S.
the IAEA in Vienna.