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IAEA safeguards

Voluntary Offer Agreement

The five nuclear-weapon states defined by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (i.e. the United Kingdom, the United States of America, China, France and the Russian Federation) have voluntary offer safeguards agreements (VOAs) in force covering some or all of their peaceful nuclear activities.

A VOA is an agreement concluded between the IAEA and a nuclear weapon State which, under the NPT, is not required to accept safeguards but which has voluntarily offered to do so to allay concerns that the application of IAEA safeguards could lead to commercial disadvantages for the nuclear industries of non-nuclear weapon States. Under the UK VOA the UK offers nuclear material and facilities in its civil nuclear fuel cycle for selection by the IAEA for the application of safeguards.

ONR submits nuclear material accounting reports and basic design information for all facilities offered to the IAEA for the application of safeguards.

The Voluntary Offer Agreement also allows the UK to remove facilities or withdraw material from the scope of the agreement for reasons for national security.