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SSAC/IAEA cooperation: Some reflections from the Canadian SSAC

Abstract of the technical paper to:
51st Annual Meeting of The Institute of Nuclear Materials Management
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
July 11-15, 2010

Prepared by:
James A. Casterton, Karen Owen and Adam Parsons
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Cooperation between state and regional systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material (SSACs/RSACs) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is fundamental for effective and efficient implementation of IAEA safeguards. The respective responsibilities necessary for implementing safeguards in a state are set out in the safeguards agreement between the state and the IAEA. However, there is no single model for a state to emulate in establishing a national SSAC; each SSAC is different, dependent upon several factors such as governmental structures, relationships with facility operators, the relationship between the State and the IAEA and the nature and extent of the fuel cycle. Furthermore, most states are willing to go beyond the basic level of cooperation in order to pursue efficiencies without undermining effectiveness. The differences between SSACs are increasingly important as the IAEA considers relevant state-level factors that underpin the state-level approach to safeguards implementation and evaluation. They are also important as States and the IAEA consider how to optimize IAEA verification effort in states, particularly those under state-level integrated safeguards approaches. Finally, the experience of established SSACs is a valuable commodity for those states that are considering embarking on nuclear power programmes for the first time. For all of these reasons it is timely for SSACs to share information on how they facilitate the fulfillment of state obligations arising from safeguards agreements. Such exchanges can help identify best practices which could benefit existing SSACs and also contribute to the establishment of new SSACs. Such exchanges may also provide insight on possibilities for enhancing cooperation between SSACs and the IAEA. As an initial contribution to this objective, this paper will focus on the experience of the Canadian SSAC in implementing the Canada/IAEA Safeguards Agreement.

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