Procurement Data and Safeguards: Looking Historically and to the Future

by David Albright

November 21, 2022

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Because nuclear programs depend on procurements, understanding such procurements has become an important aspect of safeguards today. This paper looks back at the development of this approach and draws out lessons for tomorrow. Past cases, recounted using open source data and Institute archives, are drawn from, among others, Iraq Action Team investigations, Iran inspections during 2003-2006, the Khan Network investigations, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. These cases illustrate important lessons about collecting and including procurement data more explicitly in state declarations and meeting inspection and monitoring goals. The cases also demonstrate the value of procurement data in facilitating the detection of irregularities in a nuclear declaration or verifying the correctness and completeness of a state’s nuclear declaration. These experiences and historical cases yield additional insights and lessons into ways to increase the usefulness of procurement data in future safeguards practices and methodologies.

Read the full pdf of David Albright’s paper, written for and presented at the 2022 IAEA Safeguards Symposium, here.

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