The primary international organization that enforces a system of safeguards to ensure that non-nuclear weapons states do not divert shipments of sensitive equipment from peaceful applications to the production of nuclear weapons. Before a supplier state of nuclear materials or equipment may approve an export to a non-nuclear weapons NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) signatory state, it must receive assurances that the recipient will place the material under IAEA safeguards. Subsequent to shipment, the recipient state must allow IAEA officials to verify the legitimate end use of the exported materials or equipment.
IAEA, established in July 1957, gives advice and technical assistance to developing countries on nuclear power development, nuclear safety, radioactive waste management, and related efforts. Safeguards are the technical means applied by the IAEA to verify that nuclear equipment or materials are used exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Contact: International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna International Centre, Wagramer Strasse 5, A-1400, P.O. Box 100, Vienna, Austria; Tel: +43 (1) 2600-0; Web: www.iaea.org.