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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal
  

Introduction

IAEA Safeguards inspectors taking a physical inventory of fresh enriched uranium fuel assemblies. (Photo source: D. Calma/IAEA)
IAEA Safeguards inspectors taking a physical inventory of fresh enriched uranium fuel assemblies. (Photo source: D. Calma/IAEA) 

In order to understand the basics of nuclear security and safeguards, it is first necessary to know how the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) defines the terms:

Nuclear Security: The prevention and detection of, and response to, theft, sabotage, unauthorized access, illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear or other radioactive substances or their associated facilities.

Nuclear Safeguards: A set of technical measures that are applied on nuclear material and activities, […] to independently verify that nuclear facilities are not misused and nuclear material is not diverted from peaceful uses.

Safeguards are supported by a variety of different agencies, including the IAEA, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), and other domestic multinational agencies (ie. The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear materials (ABACC)). This module will focus on safeguards from an IAEA perspective. 

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