Additional Protocol to the U.S. – IAEA Safeguards Agreement
Comprehensive safeguards agreements1 implemented in accordance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty were designed to confirm that declared nuclear materials remained in peaceful activities. The Iraqi clandestine nuclear weapons program discovered in 1991, and subsequent discoveries involving other foreign country's nuclear programs, led to the recognition among the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Member States that the IAEA's Inspectorate needed stronger capabilities to detect undeclared nuclear activities. In 1992, the IAEA began implementing new measures to strengthen the safeguards system which the IAEA had authority to implement under the existing comprehensive safeguards agreements. In 1995, other strengthening measures were proposed that required the approval of new legal arrangements. In May 1997, the IAEA Board of Governors approved the Model Protocol Additional to the Agreements between the States and the IAEA(Additional Protocol). As of the end of 2014, 124 of the 181 countries with safeguards agreements in force had brought additional protocols into force.
The U.S. Additional Protocol which entered into force on January 6, 2009, is a treaty between the U.S. and the IAEA that is appended to the U.S.—IAEA Safeguards Agreement. As with the U.S.—IAEA Safeguards Agreement, the U.S. brought the full text of the Model Additional Protocol2 into force to demonstrate that the U.S. will accept the same burdens on its commercial nuclear industry as is being required of the non-nuclear weapon states. Under the U.S. Additional Protocol, more U.S. facilities and companies are subject to the reporting requirements and expanded IAEA access rights than were under the U.S.-IAEA Safeguards Agreement alone.
The U.S. is obligated to make declarations to the IAEA on peaceful nuclear activities in the U.S. 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.3 These declarations are compiled and reviewed by the Federal agencies and submitted for 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 required to be 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.
In addition to the reporting requirements, all facilities reporting under the U.S. Additional Protocol are required to permit U.S. Government representatives and authorized IAEA inspectors to access the facility to conduct a "complementary access". Complementary access is the term given in additional protocols for a short-notice visit by the IAEA that is to verify that the information provided in declarations is correct and complete, or in some cases to resolve a question or inconsistency. When an NRC or Agreement State licensed facility is selected by the IAEA for a complementary access, the NRC will immediately contact the point(s) of contact listed on the site or location's reporting forms to begin coordination. During the complementary access a representative of the NRC will assist the licensee to facilitate the access and to protect classified, sensitive, 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 NRC. See also, answers to some frequently asked questions.
The Additional Protocol Reporting System is the U.S.'s national database for collecting information and making declarations to the IAEA under the Additional Protocol. This system is operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and collects relevant information from the DOC, NRC, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) concerning their locations, facilities, and sites. The NRC and DOC use common reporting forms and formats to ensure consistency between submitted information. The AP reporting forms are available on the DOC's web site. Additional Protocol reporting by NRC and Agreement State licensees is performed using paper forms 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
Washington, D.C. 20230
Attn: AP Reports