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Department of Safeguards (SG)


Office of Deputy Director General

The Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards is responsible for the overall supervision of the Department, including, operations coordination, development and implementation of major projects, interacting with Member States, physical and information security, programme and budget, human resources, effectiveness evaluation, change management, health and safety (including radiation protection safety), communication and interdepartmental coordination. The Department consists of six Divisions: three for operations, one that is responsible for concepts and planning, one that covers information management, and another that provides technical support; as well as an Office of Analytical Services and an Office of Information and Communication Systems.

Within the Deputy Director General's office itself, is: the Office of Coordination and Communication, responsible for the coordination of those activities and initiatives that have wide Departmental implications or significance and for the Department's communications strategy; the Section for Effectiveness Evaluation, responsible for the evaluation of safeguards implementation and preparation of the annual Safeguards Implementation Report to the Board of Governors; and the Section for Programme and Resources, responsible for managing the Department's human and financial resources, and for preparing the verification programme and budget proposals to Member States.

Three Operations Divisions

Each of the three Operations Divisions is responsible for the implementation of safeguards in a different geographical area. Division of Operations A is responsible for inspections in Australasia and East Asia; Division of Operations B is responsible for the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, some non-EU European states, and the Americas; and Division of Operations C is responsible for Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia.

The Operations Divisions play a pivotal role in verifying that, for States with safeguards agreements in force, there is no diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful nuclear activities and no indications of undeclared nuclear material or activities in the State as a whole.

Inspectors perform a variety of verification activities. Containment and surveillance techniques (i.e. the application of seals and the use of cameras and detectors installed at the facility) may be deployed to prevent undetected access to nuclear material or undeclared operation of the facility. In order to verify that the facility has been used as declared, environmental samples may be taken for analysis. The IAEA also makes use of unattended and remote monitoring data (surveillance, seals and non-destructive assay) of declared facilities through use of the transmission of encrypted data. These are supported by (announced or unannounced) random inspections.

Each Operations Division conducts an evaluation of the consistency of the State's declared nuclear programme against the results of the Agency's verification activities under the relevant Safeguards Agreement, Additional Protocol (where applicable) and with all other safeguards-relevant information available to the Agency. In particular, a comprehensive State evaluation, based on all information available to the Agency about the State's nuclear and nuclear-related activities, is conducted.

Division of Concepts and Planning

The Division of Concepts and Planning is responsible for: conducting strategic planning for the Department; coordinating research and development activities, including the management of Member State Support Programmes; developing concepts, approaches and methods for safeguarding nuclear material, facilities and activities; preparing safeguards policy and guidance documentation; assisting Operations Divisions with safeguards implementation issues; supporting advisory and policy-making bodies; and providing assistance to personnel from Member States through training, advisory missions and guidance documents. The Division also organizes and conducts around 100 training courses annually for Departmental staff and implements a quality management system to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of departmental processes.

Division of Information Management

The Division of Information Management is responsible for the: operation and development of a pool of specialized information analysts and data processing specialists; receipt, processing and analysis of accounting data and additional protocol declarations; evaluation of material balance and other statistical support; evaluation of analytical results of nuclear material, non-nuclear material and environmental samples; collection, processing and analysis of scientific, technical and political literature, including trade related information; collection, processing and analysis of geospatial information; and the development and implementation of new information collection, processing and analysis techniques and methodologies.

Division of Technical Support

The Division of Technical Support is responsible for providing scientific and technical support to the Operations Divisions including: design, development, testing, calibration, installation and maintenance of safeguards equipment; performance and contamination monitoring of equipment; and inspection logistics.

Office of Safeguards Analytical Services

The Office of Safeguards Analytical Services is responsible for the analysis of nuclear material and environmental swipe samples, the provision of associated sampling and quality control materials, as well as the coordination of sample shipment logistics and cooperation with Member State institutions in the Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL). The office contains the Safeguards Analytical Laboratories (SAL), comprised of the Environmental Sample Laboratory and the Nuclear Material Laboratory (including the On-Site Laboratory in Rokkasho, Japan), and a Coordination and Support Section, responsible for the planning, coordination and reporting of the analytical results from the NWAL; radiation protection; quality management; training and other technical support. The ECAS (Enhancing the Capabilities of the Safeguards Analytical Services) project aims to construct sustainable laboratory space and strengthen the IAEA's capabilities for timely and independent analysis of nuclear material, and to meet the additional safety and security requirements of a modern laboratory.

Office of Information and Communications Systems

Within the Department of Safeguards, the Office of Information and Communication Systems (SGIS) is the centre of competence for the specification, development and maintenance of information and communication technology (ICT) systems and for the management of all ICT infrastructure and services to support safeguards. In partnership with other organizational entities, SGIS is responsible for planning and implementing an ICT strategy as well as enforcing ICT standards.

For more information, see Safeguards →

Human Resource Booklets

Published January 2013 Internship Programme: Get Real World Experience

Internship Programme: Get Real World Experience Download pdf →

Published September 2011 Women At IAEA

Women At IAEA Download pdf →

Published June 2011 IAEA Leadership Blueprint

IAEA Leadership Blueprint Download pdf →

Published September 2011 Inviting Commitment: Working for IAEA

Inviting Commitment: Working for IAEA Download pdf →