Falling Behind: International Scrutiny of the Peaceful Atom

  • February 01, 2008
  • Mr Henry D Sokolski
  • Mr Henry D Sokolski

If possible, it would be useful to enhance the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) ability to detect and prevent nuclear diversions. This would not only reduce the current risk of nuclear proliferation, it would make the further expansion of nuclear power much less risky. The question is what is possible? To date, little has been attempted to answer this basic question. Periodic reports by the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the IAEA have highlighted budgetary, personnel, and and administrative challenges that are facing the agency. There also has been a 2-year internal IAEA review of how existing IAEA safeguards procedures might be improved. None of these assessments, however, has tackled the more fundamental question of how well the IAEA is actually doing in achieving its nuclear material accountancy mission.