International Security Studies

Events

Nuclear Nonproliferation: Change and Challenges

December 09, 2004 // 11:00pm

This meeting, jointly sponsored by the Center's Division of International Studies and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, was another in the ongoing Nonproliferation Forum series.

Dr. Andrew, who is the top scientific adviser to IAEA Director General, Dr. Mohamed El Baradei, addressed the Agency's critical verification mission. That mission was fundamentally recast after the 1991 Gulf War, when UN inspectors uncovered an extensive clandestine nuclear weapons development program in Iraq, which prior to the war had been deemed in compliance with its IAEA obligations. The ability of the Saddam Hussein regime to circumvent IAEA safeguards led to the adoption of measures to strengthen them substantially through the so-called Additional Protocol. Whereas earlier safeguard agreements focused on declared nuclear facilities, the goal of the Additional Protocol is to ensure that proscribed activities are not occurring at undeclared sites.

Over 130 states have not yet acceded to the Additional Protocol during a period when the IAEA's nuclear verification mission has become even more challenging given the continued spread of nuclear technologies through legitimate commercial sales, as well as illicit transfers through the black market.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime is "under stress" on a number of fronts.

In North Korea, no IAEA monitoring has been possible since December 2002 when the Pyongyang regime broke the freeze on its nuclear activities that had been negotiated in 1994.

After Qaddafi's dramatic decision in December 2003 to undergo complete and verifiable nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons disarmament, Libya was discovered to have an advanced uranium enrichment technology and a nuclear bomb design (which had been sold by rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan).

Iran has failed to meet its safeguards requirements through incomplete reporting of its nuclear activities. The IAEA is not in a position to state that Iran has no undeclared nuclear facilities. The Agency has detected a pattern of concealment and will monitor the recent agreement freezing Iranian uranium enrichment that was recently concluded between the Tehran regime and the European Union (with Britain, Germany and France in the lead).

Safeguards are one instrument in the nonproliferation toolkit, along with export controls, interdiction of illicit goods (through the Proliferation Security Initiative), and other non-military instruments. With the Additional Protocol, states violating nonproliferation norms by conducting proscribed activities at undeclared sites run an increased risk of detection. In conducting its verification mission, the IAEA will remain dependent on actionable intelligence from the Agency's member states.

Robert S. Litwak, Director, Division of International Studies


Experts & Staff

  • Robert S. Litwak // Vice President for Scholars and Academic Relations and Director, International Security Studies
  • Tonya Boyce // Program Assistant, International Security Studies

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