Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Nuclear safeguards

Draft guidance for inspectors and Nuclear Material Accountants

As part of preparing to deliver a UK State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material, and providing a domestic safeguards regime after the UK leaves Euratom, we have prepared some initial draft guidance for safeguards inspectors.

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What are nuclear safeguards?

Nuclear safeguards are measures to verify that countries comply with their international obligations not to use nuclear materials from their civil nuclear programmes to manufacture nuclear weapons.

ONR's role

ONR monitors safeguards performance in the UK, supporting and intervening as necessary with UK dutyholders and/or Euratom and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure that safeguards obligations in the UK are met in a proportionate manner.

The role of the ONR Safeguards function is to:

  1. support and intervene as necessary with the international safeguards inspectorates of the European Commission and the IAEA and/or UK organisations that are subject to safeguards requirements;
  2. fulfil the international and domestic safeguards-related reporting obligations that are the direct responsibility of the UK Government (as opposed to nuclear operators in the UK);
  3. provide the UK Government with informed independent assessment of safeguards application and compliance in the UK and with technical advice on safeguards implementation more generally (eg supporting UK input to maintain and strengthen the global safeguards regime).

For further information, you can write to the safeguards team at or by post to ONR Safeguards, 4N3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS.