Nuclear Safeguards and Security
Safeguards are activities by which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), can verify that a State is in compliance with its international commitments not to use nuclear programmes for nuclear weapons purposes. In order to implement safeguards efficiently and effectively, the IAEA needs to deploy ‘state of the art’ tools, techniques, methodologies and expertise. As the IAEA has no dedicated budget for R&D, support from States is required in this regard.
Germany provides R&D, training and consultancy support though the German Member State Support Programme. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Comsumer Protection (BMUV), IEK-6 is in charge of the scientific coordination of this programme, which typically includes about 25 joint projects with the IAEA. At the same time, IEK-6 is also the principal investigator of many of these projects. In this line, IEK-6 carries out R&D activities in the following areas: Nuclear reference particles and analytics, mathematical models and quantitative methods, geospatial information analysis, containment & sealing systems, as well as verification concepts.
Education and training are also part of the nuclear safeguards and security activities at IEK-6, including contributing to the first level Specializing Safeguards Master at Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Finally, national and international advisory services and committee work is aimed at strengthening these activities. Such committees and organizations include, inter alia, the IAEA Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation (SAGSI), the European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA), and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM).