The Evolution of Safeguards
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Implementation of IAEA safeguards and the drawing of safeguards conclusions has changed dramatically from an ad hoc arrangement in 1962, to an approach focused on verifying nuclear material at declared facilities and drawing safeguards conclusions at the level of individual facilities, to one that assesses the consistency of all safeguards relevant information regarding a State’s nuclear programme and draws a safeguards conclusion for the State as a whole. The notion of implementing safeguards that considers a State’s nuclear and nuclear-related activities and capabilities, as a whole, is referred to as the State-level concept. The State-level concept is applicable to all States with a safeguards agreement in force. Through implementing safeguards in the context of the State-level concept, a number of benefits in terms of effectiveness and efficiency have been realized, including taking better account of State-specific factors which allow for the development and implementation of customized State-level approaches (SLAs). SLAs provide options for safeguards measures to be implemented in the field and at Headquarters, allowing the IAEA to compare their cost-effectiveness and providing greater flexibility in safeguards implementation. Instead of mechanistically applying the activities listed in the safeguards criteria, the implementation of SLAs is focused on attainment of technical objectives. By doing so, safeguards implementation is more performance-oriented and is helping the IAEA to avoid spending resources on doing more than is needed for effective safeguards. The objectives are established by the Secretariat using structured and technically based analytical methods conducted according to uniform processes and defined procedures. Utilizing the same technically-based processes and procedures for developing SLAs for all States helps to ensure consistency and non-discrimination in safeguards implementation, efficient performance of the work, and more soundly based safeguards conclusions.
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