A nuclear weapon free world - can it be verified?

Schaper, Annette ; Frank, Katja


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URL http://edoc.vifapol.de/opus/volltexte/2008/279/
Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: HSFK-Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
Schriftenreihe: PRIF reports
Bandnummer: 53
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 1999
Publikationsdatum: 30.01.2008
SWD-Schlagwörter: Kernwaffe , Abrüstung , Verifikation
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 89.87 (Waffen, Kampfmittel)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

This report was created as part of a project dealing with the preconditions, strategies and problems of comprehensive nuclear disarmament, and addresses an important aspect of the disarmament problem – verification. A one-hundred percent successful verification will never be achieved, but it would be wrong to conclude that a nuclear weapon free world is only acceptable in the casee of perfect verification. The demands on verification depend to a large extent on mutual trust between states and on previous experience of nuclear disarmament and its verification to date. The requirements will, however, rise in the course of the disarmament process. Particularly in the final phases, when the number of arsenals falls below a hundred, verification will have to satisfy extremely high demands both in terms of quantity and quality. The nuclear disarmament of nuclear weapon states can be carried out in many individual steps, the first of which are already taking place now or will be doing so in the near future. These steps include, among other things, deactivation measures, further reductions, dismantling of warheads, disposition of nuclear material from disarmed warheads and, finally, the destruction or conversion of nuclear weapon-related facilities. Only very few of these steps are already being verified today. Apart from declarations and transparency measures, the internationally binding commitment not to rescind measures once they are taken is an important factor. Verification would have to consist of a synergy of different methods. These include: the identification of warheads with the aid of nuclear-physical measurements, seals, all the IAEA safeguards used in the non-nuclear weapon states, extensive rights of access for challenge inspections, the use of satellite surveillance, National Technical Means, the disclosure of historical documents, the creation of maximum transparency in former nuclear weapon states, and the possibility of enforcing clarification of suspicions if necessary. The protection of proliferation relevant information must be considered. Once a nuclear weapons complex is destroyed, any further possession of nuclear weapons is extremely unlikely. Even after comprehensive disarmament, the world will have to live with permanent verification in order to detect any future attempts at secret rearmament in time. To this end, a universal verification system will have to be established which is capable of early detection of the different elements of a nuclear-weapon program. These include the acquisition of either high enriched uranium or plutonium, the development of ignition technology, the development of theoretical principles, the development of an infrastructure, acquisition activities, and not least secrecy measures. Here, too, a synergy of different verification measures will have to be implemented which should be based on the further development of IAEA safeguards, including all reforms. Other important elements of this synergy are the inclusion of all data, including those gathered by National Technical Means and espionage, the extremely extensive rights of access for the verification agency, the use of state-of-the-art equipment, including satellites, maximum transparency of all relevant activities, the reconstruction of production histories with the aid of historical documents, the impossibility of rejecting challenge inspections, the readiness of as many states as possible to co-operate, and the protection of informants. The probability that the II construction of several warheads will remain undetected despite a verification system of this kind is very low. There will always be a few states under suspicion which do not co-operate with the verification authorities, but it is precisely their activities that must be detected by verification. Historical cases of proliferation are South Africa, Iraq and North Korea. In all three cases, the verification system fell short of the standard which would be necessary for a nuclear weapon free world. The cases demonstrate that although it was possible to establish a number of suspicious indications using the then insufficient verification, important information was never revealed to the international community, for example, that South Africa had built six warheads, or that Iraq had intensively developed electromagnetic uranium enrichment. With the measures in place today, suspicions would have been aroused much earlier. South Africa’s activities would not have remained undetected with full-scope safeguards. In the case of North Korea, the measures of the IAEA were already more intrusive and lead to the emergence of concrete suspicion. But precise clarification of the North Korean activities is so far not possible, since there are no means of enforcing the inspections against the will of the state. The surveillance of the international transfer of technology plays an important role for the early detection of suspicious acquisition activities. How far subsequent verification of whether a state has totally disarmed is possible can be examined by studying the case of South Africa. There are, however, limitations for the comparison between South Africa and the established nuclear weapon states. An important element of a future system must be the possibility of using any kind of information and National Technical Means. A maximum level of transparency of all nuclear activities in all states, which must far exceed present levels of transparency, continues to be a prerequisite. This relates in particular to the nuclear activities of disarming nuclear weapon states. Furthermore, it must be possible to implement the measures flexibly. In the event of suspicion and a lack of co-operation, verification activities must be reinforced, whereas in cases where trust has become firmly established over a long period of time, it must be possible to reduce the level of activities. The successful implementation of verification measures depends not least also on the organisational structure of the verification system and must therefore be carefully considered. Rapid decision-making structures and the ability of assertion are of great importance. The decision-making body must be representative for the community of states. The Security Council could only be considered for this after a comprehensive reform. All technologies used should be internationalised as far as possible, e.g. the use of satellites, which are currently employed almost exclusively as National Technical Means. In the long term, individual verification organisations could be consolidated. The IAEA should provide the starting point for the development of the final organisational form for verification. The role of social verification must be reinforced. Even if the process of total nuclear disarmament is initiated by a relatively small number of states, in the end, all states must have committed themselves to relinquishing nuclear weapons.

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