International Safeguards and Monitoring

Improving verification to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation


The approach to safeguarding nuclear programs is inconsistent, and critical gaps may prevent the international community from adequately preventing proliferation crises


Develop new concepts and build collaborative engagements with the IAEA and other stakeholders to support robust fuel cycle verification


Strengthened international verification approaches using new, enhanced, or currently dormant safeguards authorities, monitoring measures, and advanced technologies

International safeguards are measures to verify that countries comply with their obligations not to use nuclear materials for non-peaceful uses.

Through the implementation of safeguards and monitoring agreements, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves as an integral component of the international nuclear nonproliferation system. However, the constantly changing nature of the international nuclear fuel cycle environment presents persistent challenges to the existing system of rules and norms governing behavior. These challenges have exposed critical gaps in the existing international safeguards system, most notably as challenges related to nuclear monitoring and verification in Iran and North Korea continue to remain at the forefront of international discussion. At the same time, the development of advanced nuclear reactors and related fuel cycle technology pose new questions about how to monitor and verify the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

By building a more comprehensive and collaborative dialogue with the IAEA and other stakeholders, NTI is helping to identify ways to implement dormant authorities, encourage productive systematic improvements, explore the potential use of advanced monitoring technologies, and develop a vision for the future of IAEA safeguards. This work substantively augments other NTI projects (Fuel Cycle of the Future and Developing Spent Fuel Strategies) to create a comprehensive, proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle that is backstopped with appropriate and effective safeguards and monitoring measures.



U.S. Nuclear Policies for a Safer World

Special Report

U.S. Nuclear Policies for a Safer World

NTI Co-Chairs Ernest J. Moniz and Sam Nunn call on the United States to resume a position of global leadership to reduce the risks posed by nuclear weapons.






New Paper Reviews Expanded Safeguards


New Paper Reviews Expanded Safeguards

NTI expert John Carlson explores safeguards to verify that nuclear weapons states are complying with treaty obligations in a new paper


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