United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Additional Protocol: Frequently Asked Questions

Have other countries signed an Additional Protocol?

As of 2018, 133 of the 181 countries with safeguards agreements have brought Additional Protocols into force and an additional 15 have signed additional protocols that have not yet entered into force. The U.S. Government has joined with the IAEA to urge all countries to bring an Additional Protocol into force.

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Why did the U.S sign the Additional Protocol?

The U.S. signed the Additional Protocol to underscore the U.S. foreign policy commitment to combating the potential spread of nuclear weapons, and to demonstrate that adherence to the Model Additional Protocol by other countries would not place them at a commercial disadvantage.

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What is the difference between the U.S. – IAEA Safeguards Agreement and the U.S. Additional Protocol?

The principal differences between the U.S. – IAEA Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol include the broader declaration requirements with regard to nuclear-related activities (e.g., manufacturing of nuclear components) and the expanded access permitted in the Additional Protocol to verify the accuracy and completeness of the declarations. The Additional Protocol also updates procedures for designating Agency inspectors, issuing inspector visas, and protection of safeguards information by the Agency.

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What is the difference between the Model Additional Protocol and the Additional Protocol signed by the U.S.?

The text of the U.S. Additional Protocol is nearly identical to the Model Additional Protocol which applies to non-nuclear-weapon States, with the exception that one article in the U.S Additional Protocol exempts those sites and locations associated with activities of direct national security significance to the United States.  This article is similar to the national security exclusion clause in the U.S. – IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

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What is required by the Additional Protocol?

Under the Additional Protocol, the United States is obligated to make declarations to the IAEA on peaceful nuclear activities in the United States and to provide the IAEA with sufficient access to resolve questions relating to the accuracy and completeness of the declarations. To ensure the U.S. Government's compliance with the treaty, certain public and private U.S. entities are required to report on the following activities:

  • Nuclear fuel cycle-related research and development
  • Activities on the sites of nuclear facilities
  • Manufacturing of nuclear fuel cycle-related equipment and materials
  • Mining and ore processing activities for uranium and thorium
  • Possession, import, and export of "impure" uranium and thorium materials
  • Location of nuclear material on which IAEA safeguards has been exempted or terminated
  • Import and export of nuclear fuel cycle-related equipment and materials.

Commercial entities are required to make declarations, elaborating on the activities above, on a quarterly or annual basis to the U.S. Government. These declarations are compiled and reviewed by the U.S. Government for submittal to the IAEA following Congressional review. For quarterly export reports, the U.S. Government requires that the appropriate forms must be submitted to the Department of Commerce no later than fifteen days after the end of a quarter (i.e., January 15th for the preceding October through December timeframe, April 15th for the preceding January through March timeframe, and so forth). For the annual update, changes and additions or deletions are submitted to the IAEA no later than May 15th of each year for the preceding calendar year's information. Therefore, in order to meet this deadline, the appropriate forms must be submitted to the Department of Commerce no later than January 31st of each year. Please review the U.S. Additional Protocol to determine whether your company or facility is responsible for reporting on a quarterly or annual basis.

In addition to the reporting requirements, all facilities reporting under the U.S. AP are required to permit U.S. Government representatives and authorized IAEA inspectors' access to the facility to conduct a complementary access. Complementary access is the term given in the U.S. AP for a short-notice visit in order to verify the information provided is correct and complete, or in some cases to resolve a question or inconsistency. When a NRC or Agreement State licensed facility is selected by the IAEA for a complementary access, the NRC will contact the POCs listed on the site or location's reporting forms to immediately begin coordination. During the complementary access a representative of the NRC, along with other U.S. Government personnel, will facilitate the access and assist in protecting classified and proprietary information. For any questions pertaining to the U.S. Additional Protocol, please contact the Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards at the U.S. NRC.

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Who is responsible for facilitating a complementary access under the U.S. Additional Protocol?

When the IAEA requests access to an NRC licensee location, the NRC, in collaboration with other relevant Federal agencies, will facilitate the IAEA visit through implementation of additional protocol complementary access procedures. The Federal agency participation is intended to protect proprietary, sensitive, or classified information at the location. When the IAEA requests access to a location associated with a different U.S. Government Agency, that Agency will assume responsibility for facilitating the complementary access at the location.

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How is the required information for the Additional Protocol reported?

The Additional Protocol Reporting System is the United States' national database for collecting information and making declarations to the IAEA under the Additional Protocol. This system will be operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and will collect relevant information from the NRC, Department of Energy (DOE) and DOC concerning their facilities. The NRC and DOC will use common reporting forms and formats to ensure consistency between submitted information. The up-to-date AP reporting forms are available on the U.S. Department of Commerce web site. Additional Protocol reporting by NRC and Agreement State licensees to the NRC will be conducted using paper forms and submitted via U.S. Postal Service, hand delivery, courier or facsimile to the following address:

U.S. Department of Commerce
Treaty Compliance Division

1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room 4515
Washington, D.C. 20230
Attn: AP Reports

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How do I know whether my facility is a location or a site?

Under the U.S. Additional Protocol, the term "site" has a very specific meaning. Any facility that has submitted a design information questionnaire (DIQ) to the IAEA under the U.S. – IAEA Safeguards Agreement, is considered a "site". All other facilities are considered "locations" for reporting purposes.

Where can I find more information about the Additional Protocol?

The Department of Commerce maintains a webpage dedicated to the U.S. Additional Protocol that contains useful information such as the handbooks and forms for use when submitting information, and the treaty text of the U.S. Additional Protocol:

Additional information can be found at the following websites:

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, February 14, 2019