NNSA and Indonesia’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (BAPETEN) hosted a workshop in Jakarta in July to increase awareness among Asia Pacific countries about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) safeguards agreements.
The workshop was an opportunity for participants to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices on the implementation of the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which is a safeguards agreement that gives the IAEA additional tools to verify that countries are only pursuing peaceful applications of nuclear energy.
“This peer-to-peer exchange fostered better interaction and participation by representatives of less-experienced countries, who appreciated hearing how other countries in the region address common challenges. Several of the nations at the workshop are already making plans to cooperate with Indonesia and Singapore to develop and strengthen their safeguards infrastructure” said Budi Rohman, BAPETEN Director of Inspection for Nuclear Installation and Nuclear Material.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the foundation of the international nonproliferation regime. It obligates all non-nuclear weapons states that are party to it to have a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, including those without nuclear material. Broad participation is essential to reinforcing the global effort against non-peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Attendees learned about IAEA safeguards agreements and obligations through exercises and presentations delivered by experts from the Department of Energy, NNSA, the IAEA, Singapore, and Indonesia. These experts highlighted the importance of the Additional Protocol.
Participants showed interest in creating the needed legal infrastructure and in training people to support the safeguards obligations. Even countries without nuclear power programs acknowledge the value of strengthening the nonproliferation regime through the Additional Protocol.
The attendees advised experts on the best way to engage the “blue continent,” a group composed of island nations across the Pacific who are often not included in the activities and conversations in this area.
Representatives from non-nuclear weapons States party to the NPT, including Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu participated in the workshop. Many of the small island nations in the region that have little nuclear material, or none whatsoever, also attended.