Essay Example on Nuclear Weapons & the IAEA: The Additional Protocol

Paper Type:  Report
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1060 Words
Date:  2023-05-21

Ever since the end of World War II, the number of states who have developed nuclear weapons and systems has increased significantly. The Additional Protocol is a legal agreement between an individual country and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerning further inspection of that state's Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement by the IAEA (Sanders et al., 2015). The primary purpose of the Additional Protocol is to enable the IAEA to get an overall picture of a country's declared and undeclared nuclear programs. The Protocol gives the IAEA additional rights to access to information and nuclear sites of a nation. As of 2019, 136 countries have enforced the Additional Protocol while another 15 have signed the agreement but yet to enforce it (Sanders et al., 2015). The Comprehensive and Additional Protocol safeguard agreements are aimed at improving and maintaining global nuclear weapons and programs. This report analyses comprehensive additional protocol safeguard agreement.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The international need for the Comprehensive and Additional Protocol Safeguard Agreement arose when the IAEA failed to detect Iraq's development of nuclear weapons before the Persian Gulf War of 1991 (Katzman et al., 2015). It was revealed that Iraq had violated the NPT safeguard agreements by developing nuclear facilities and weapons and not declaring them to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In 1992, the IAEA also found out that North Korea had incorporated the use of plutonium in their nuclear reactors but failed to declare it IAEA inspectorate (Katzman et al., 2015). The effortless manner in which North Korea and Iraq violated the safeguard agreements showed the shortcomings of the existing NPT safeguards. The IAEA, therefore, adopted a new, Programme 93+2, that tried to prevent declared states form diverting nuclear materials and also to detect undeclared nuclear weapons and activities. The newly introduced program legally bound the Protocol to exist safeguards and also expanded the scope of IAEA inspections in a country.

Most of the Addition Protocol is usually discussed between the IAEA and an individual country; however, it is individually altered. Once a country has signed the Addition Protocol Agreement with the IAEA, they agree to provide the IAEA, and their inspectors access to their full nuclear cycle, including all the locations with nuclear facilities or mines. The country would have also agreed to provide the IAEA with information and access to all buildings and rooms within a nuclear site (Kerr, 2017). The Protocol ensures that the IAEA has access to all buildings to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear materials or weapons. Advance notice of two hours is given before the access of the nuclear cite. The country would have also agreed to let the IAEA collect samples from the surrounding environment when considered to be necessary (Kerr, 2017). The Addition Protocol also ensures that the state provides any information on research done nuclear processes and any information concerning the export and import of nuclear-related materials.

There have been concerns, however, that the Additional Protocol goes beyond the mandate of the IAEA to prove nuclear material. The Additional Protocol has been identified to extend the authority of IAEA in several areas where nuclear material is non-existent. These areas include the manufacturing of centrifuge components and heavy water use in nuclear graphite. The IAEA has, however, provided a rationale that they can use a broader area of information to conclude that the country has declared all nuclear materials. That would, therefore, mean that the regions IAEA has jurisdiction over will include processes to find undeclared nuclear activities. They would also have the right to identify indicators showing diversion, intended or not, of nuclear material within a country. The IAEA has pressed down the accusations with those claims.

Another issue that arose with the implementation of the Additional Protocol is the discussion of whether it is mandatory or voluntary. Several states have felt that the Additional Protocol is being forced and is considered mandatory. However, the Board of Governors has not provided a determination that the use of the Additional Protocol is compulsory. There are some countries with no nuclear weapons but are under the NPT, who have committed to adopting the Agency Safeguards system. This system was not frozen when the NPT was implemented in 1970 but has evolved (Goldschmidt, 2015). The comprehensive safeguards agreements had not been implemented then. The Additional Protocol, combined with a comprehensive safeguards agreement, illustrates the consolidated statement of the Agency Safeguard System and has now been achieved by international practice.

The number of states that have no nuclear weapons but still part of the NPT is 65. of the 65 states, 47 have enforced the Additional Protocols. In contrast, the remaining 12 have had an Additional Protocol accepted by the Board of Governors. In general, the overall number of signed and approved Additional Protocols by the board is 129 globally. The number included both the non-nuclear-weapon and nuclear-weapon-countries. However, despite the figure, there is a significant cause of concern even after the implementation of the Additional Protocol about 11 years ago. Six non-nuclear-weapon countries are part of the NPT and have significant nuclear activities that have failed to accept the Additional Protocol (Goldschmidt, 2015). The states are Venezuela, Egypt, Argentina, Syria, North Korea and Egypt. Iran is also considered to be among those countries because they use the Additional Protocol sparingly and not entirely. These countries have refused to implement the Additional Protocol, and that is not acceptable in world standards.


The Comprehensive and Additional Protocol plays a vital role in ensuring that the IAEA is more capable of detecting undeclared nuclear activities. Its ability to conclude on the absence and presence of undeclared nuclear activities and material would be minimized without the help of Additional Protocol. Countries from around the world should strive to achieve the universalization of the Comprehensive and Additional Protocol and also ensure that their suppliers incorporate the Protocols as terms of services in their supply. This would ensure that global nuclear activities are kept in check.


Goldschmidt, P. (2015). Securing irreversible IAEA safeguards to close the next NPT loophole. Arms Control Today, 45(2), 15.

Katzman, K., Kerr, P. K., & Nikitin, M. B. D. (2015). Iran: interim nuclear agreement and talks on a comprehensive accord. Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service.

Kerr, P. (2017). The JCPOA and safeguards: model or outlier?. The Nonproliferation Review, 24(3-4), 261-273.

Sanders, K. E., Pope, R. B., Liu, Y. Y. & Shuler, J. M. (2015). Interfaces among Safety, Security, and Safeguards (3S)-Conflicts and Synergies. In Proc. INMM 56th Annual Meeting, Indian Wells, CA (Vol. 17, pp. 150-155).

Cite this page

Essay Example on Nuclear Weapons & the IAEA: The Additional Protocol. (2023, May 21). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism