Title: Methodological aspects on the IAEA State Level Concept and related Acquisition Path Analysis
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC94514
ISBN: 978-92-79-49495-6
ISSN: 1831-9424
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC94514
DOI: 10.2789/099293
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards designed to deter nuclear proliferation continue to evolve to respond to new challenges. Within its State Level Concept, the IAEA envisions a State Level Approach for safeguards implementation that considers a State’s nuclear and nuclear-related activities and capabilities as a whole within the scope of the State’s safeguards agreement to meet generic safeguards objectives. For a State with a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, these generic safeguards objectives are to detect diversion of declared nuclear material in declared facilities or LOFs, to detect undeclared production or processing of nuclear materials in declared facilities or locations outside facilities (LOFs), and to detect undeclared nuclear material or activities in the State. Under the SLA, States will be differentiated based upon State-Specific Factors (SSF) that influence the design, planning, conduct and evaluation of safeguards activities. Proposed categories of factors include both technical and legal aspects, spanning from the deployed fuel cycle and the related state’s technical capability to the type of safeguards agreements in force and the IAEA experience in implementing safeguards in that State. SSFs related to a State’s technical capabilities are captured through an Acquisition Path Analysis (APA) that identifies plausible routes for acquiring weapons-usable material. In order to achieve this goal, the APA will have to identify possible acquisition paths, characterize them and eventually prioritise them. A key issue affecting the SLC’s ability to satisfy effectiveness, efficiency, and nondiscrimination principle is the objectivity of technical SSFs captured through the APA. A review of proposed APA methods and historical evidence indicates that assessments of a State’s technical capabilities and pathway completion times may not be as objective as has been suggested. Process modifications will be proposed to improve pathways characterization, supporting the SLC, such as developing a sounder basis for technical plausibility, formalizing considerations of intrinsic technical difficulty, assessing uncertainties in collected information and issuing guidance on omitted SSFs that may influence pathway completion times.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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