Nuclear Material Safeguards

Safeguards

The issue of nuclear material safeguards and control became relevant after the international community became aware of the dangers posed to humanity but also to the environment by the use of nuclear weapons. Hence the need to put in place a system in which materials and technologies that can be misused for the production of a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device are controlled. The commitment of States to express their positive approach to addressing the issue was expressed in the accession of specific States to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (“the Treaty”). Taking into account the devastating effects of nuclear weapons the Treaty recognized the five states that owned nuclear weapons at the time (US, USSR, UK, France and China) and all other treaty non-nuclear-weapon parties undertook not to directly or indirectly receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

The aim of the Treaty is to reduce the danger of nuclear war by preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and thereby increasing of human security. The way to achieve this goal is elaborated in the articles of the Treaty.

The former Czechoslovakia acceded to the Treaty on July 1, 1968. The International Safeguards System is based on the Safeguards Agreements to the Treaty, which have been extended by the Additional Protocol due to the need to obtain all important details about the nuclear program in individual countries. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic as a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has committed itself to accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards to verify compliance with treaty requirements. The Safeguards agreement concluded between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the IAEA is known as INFCIRC / 173. In connection with the accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Union, the Euratom Safeguards, which are implemented on the basis of Chapter VII of the Euratom Treaty and on the basis of Commission Regulation (Euratom) No. 302/2005 on the application of the Euratom Safeguards. The Trilateral Safeguards Agreement (INFCIRC / 193) between the IAEA, Euratom and the Slovak Republic and its Additional Protocol have been in force since 1 December 2005 and replaced the bilateral Safeguards agreement in force until then.

System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material

The State’s System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material, which is established in the Slovak Republic, was built by the former Czechoslovak Atomic Energy Commission (ČSKAE), and after the splitting of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1993, it was taken over by ÚJD SR. This system is based on the requirements of the safeguards agreement and takes into account the requirements of the Treaty as well as the European legislation in force in the field. UJD SR maintains a State’s System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material on the basis of the provisions of § 4 par. 1 letter k) of the Atomic Act. The accounting for and control of nuclear materials is carried out in accordance with § 13 of the Atomic Act and in accordance with Decree no. 54/2006 on the accounting for and control of nuclear materials and on the notification of selected activities. The purpose of the state’s system of accounting for and control of nuclear materials is to prevent the misuse of nuclear materials, also to prevent the illicit handling of nuclear materials, to detect losses of nuclear materials and to provide information that could lead to their discovery. When performing inspection activities in the affected area, ÚJD SR performs independent inspections and inspections together with IAEA and Euratom inspectors.

Updated: 14.02.2022