Olli Heinonen on IAEA inspections

IAEA Inspections in Perspective
Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
May 23, 2012
Presentation by: Olli Heinonen, Belfer Center senior fellow
Topic: IAEA inspections

“The nuclear non-proliferation regime continues to face a broad array of challenges. It is easy to see why new solutions are needed. The world is undergoing rapid changes on many fronts — including technologically. The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force 40 years ago. It should not surprise us that the solutions of 1970 are not a perfect fit to the challenges of the 21st century. In particular, during the last two decades, we have seen three major developments related to nuclear proliferation: (1) the increased dissemination of nuclear technology and nuclear ‘know-how’; (2) a renewed drive on the part of (a few) state as well as non-state actors seeking to acquire nuclear weapons; and (3) the emergence of clandestine nuclear procurement networks. The following reality is before us:  either we continue to overcome the vulnerabilities or accept a nominal international nuclear safeguards system.  Some improvements to the system do require political will and agreement, but there are also technical fixes that can be implemented by the IAEA in capitalizing on its verifications objectives and without additional external endowed authorities.”

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