Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 27 May 1992

Vol. 420 No. 4

Written Answers. - Nuclear Safeguards.

Bernard Allen


115 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Energy if he will outline the recent European Community agreement with the International Atomic Agency to improve the application of nuclear safeguards in the Community, and if he will further outline the implication this agreement will have for Ireland.

The term "Safeguards" is used to describe actions to ensure that nuclear materials meant for peaceful use are strictly accounted for and not diverted from that intended use. International law in implementing safeguards is governed, as far as EC member states are concerned by both the separate Safeguard Regimes of Chapter VII of the Euratom Treaty, and the UN Non Proliferation Treaty which is implemented on a global basis by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This situation has given rise consistently to duplication of inspection effort which is difficult to justify.

On 28 April, 1992 a text was initialled by Commissioner Cardosa e Cunha, acting for Euratom and its 10 non-nuclear weapons States, and Director General Blix of the IAEA aimed at enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of safeguards implementation through collaboration. The new approach will be based on the use of commonly agreed and shared inspection procedures and techniques which are intended to eliminate the duplication which currently exists. It is also intended to make increasing use of technologies to replace wherever possible the physical presence of safeguards inspectors.

The detailed implementation of this arrangement will be established by the Euratom/IAEA Liaison Committee. Both Parties (Euratom and IAEA) will have to ensure that their existing criteria, guidelines and responsibilities will be fully met.

The revised arrangements have no significant direct effects on Ireland. In accordance with our consistent support for strong safeguards at international level, we will continue to watch developments in the implementation of the arrangements to see that there is no deterioration in the quality or effectiveness of inspections in EC member states.