The Additional Protocol to the IAEA safeguards agreements with Rwanda and Swaziland have entered into force.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog's 35-nation governing board established the Additional Protocol in 1997 to increase the "effectiveness and efficiency" of IAEA inspections, according to a U.N. press release. By joining the arrangement, signatory nations agree to grant the agency additional data on their atomic activities and to allow audits of their nuclear facilities with little notice.
The Additional Protocol is an “essential tool for the agency to be able to provide credible assurance, not only that declared nuclear material is not being diverted from peaceful uses, but also that there are no undeclared nuclear material and activities in states with comprehensive safeguards agreements," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in a statement to his organization's General Conference.
The 18 nations outside the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty should promptly enter the pact, Amano added (U.N. release, Sept. 20).