Principles of the verification for a future Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT)

Schaper, Annette


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Dokumentart: Bericht / Forschungsbericht / Abhandlung
Institut: HSFK-Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
Schriftenreihe: PRIF reports
Bandnummer: 58
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2001
Publikationsdatum: 29.01.2008
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Nuklearmaterial , Nonproliferation
DDC-Sachgruppe: Politik
BK - Basisklassifikation: 52.55 (Kerntechnik, Reaktortechnik)
Sondersammelgebiete: 3.6 Politik und Friedensforschung

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

This report addresses specifically the verification of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT). Although it is not clear what will be the scope of the Treaty, e. g. whether nuclear materials produced prior to entry into force will be included and to what extent, many elements of the verification can be negotiated independently of the verification. The report starts with an overview of general principles underlying the verification. An important principle of verification is its credibility. Even in case of a very limited scope, the verification must create assurance that all nuclear materials produced after entry into force are being used for known and non-proscribed purposes. The other principle is nondiscrimination. All rights and obligations for verification must apply equally to all member states. During the negotiations, two questions will arise: firstly, whether the verification obligations of the non-nuclear weapon states are already met by the NPT verification, and secondly, how close the two verification systems will come. The verification tasks for both treaties are very similar and large differences in the verification systems would be interpreted as discrimination. The next chapter outlines which terms need to be defined more specifically. Several materials and material categories must be distinguished, and in most cases, it is useful to apply already existing IAEA definitions. Especially, it will be necessary to clarify what must be understood by the terms "production" or "fissile materials". Also the levels of assurance that will be considered satisfactory must be defined. These definitions will have implications on the intrusiveness of the verification. In the following chapter, the verification tasks at different facilities are illustrated. During the negotiations, it will have to be decided not only which materials should be covered but also which kinds of facilities with which verification activities must be included in these tasks. Facilities that are discussed in more detail in this chapter are reprocessing facilities, uranium enrichment facilities, and nuclear reactors. The next chapter explains in some detail major methods of verification. Methods are well developed because they are being used by the IAEA for the verification of the NPT. They include declarations on status, design information, and material accountancy; containment and surveillance techniques, inspections, and methods for the detection of undeclared activities as are being implemented by the recent IAEA safeguards reform. Many variations of which facilities should be included in the verification and which measures are considered appropriate are possible. In the following chapter, three scenarios with varying intrusiveness are presented and discussed. The first scenario includes only facilities capable of reprocessing and enrichment. The second scenario additionally includes nuclear reactors and all kinds of direct-use material. In this scenario, the clandestine production of spent fuel would be detected. Several categories of reactors are distinguished according to their sensitivity. In the third scenario, also the verification of the production of low enriched uranium would be included. The benefit would be the creation of higher assurance that clandestine production of highly enriched uranium would be detected. In the next chapter, some special problems are being discussed: The FMCT verification will also take place in states possessing nuclear weapons who might wish to protect sensitive information. Some of these states possess facilities that have never been subject to full-scope safeguards, and some of them might want to go on with the production of HEU for military naval reactors which will cause additional problems for verification. Finally, it is recommended to task the IAEA with the verification.

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