Subject: Strengthened IAEA Safeguards System Approved
From: Marvin R. Peterson Senior Science Attache U.S. Mission to the IAEA

Date : 6 April 1997

On April 4, the IAEA's special committee on strengthening the IAEA's safeguards program approved a draft model protocol which will give the IAEA Secretariat authority to implement a wide range of new measures designed to provide high confidence assurances of the absence of a clandestine nuclear explosive program in countries with comprehensive NPT safeguards obligations. The draft protocol will be submitted to a special meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors in May for final approval. This approval is expected to be granted without extensive further debate. Among the new measures included in the protocol are:

This completes the action on the IAEA's safeguards strengthening program known as Program 93-Plus-2 and also helps fulfill a key decision of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, i.e., the endorsement in the Principles and Objectives document of the development of a strengthened NPT nuclear verification regime.

It also helps meet a key requirement of U.S. Government policy in support of the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, which stipulates that an essential condition for nuclear disarmament is the development and effective implemenation of a credible verification regime.

Further details can be obtained from the IAEA Secretariat or the U.S. Mission to the IAEA in Vienna.