Nuclear safeguards are technical measures used to verify that states comply with their international treaty obligations not to misuse nuclear materials for the manufacture of nuclear explosives. They are an essential part of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Established in 1981, the UK Safeguards Support Programme is part of the UK contribution to the maintenance of international safeguards. It provides technical support to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in verifying the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The programme is managed by the National Nuclear Laboratory on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The UK Safeguards Support Programme contributes:
expertise and advice for the further development of safeguards strategies in new and existing activities and plants in the nuclear fuel cycle
services to support the IAEA in analysing nuclear material arising from samples taken in the course of safeguards inspections
access to facilities and experts for the training of Agency personnel in advanced techniques applied in safeguards inspections and on fuel cycle plants
development of techniques, methods and procedures for safeguarding facilities in the nuclear fuel cycle
development and assessment of equipment, instruments and methods for application in safeguarding the nuclear fuel cycle
assistance through the provision of expert staff to complete specialised programmes of work that cannot be resourced through a permanent position with the IAEA
The activities and progress of the UK Safeguards Support Programme are published on an annual basis.