Departmental Seminar

The Starting Point of Nuclear Safeguards: History and Implementation

Dr Cindy Vestergaard
Senior Associate, Managing Across Boundaries, the Stimson Center, Washington, DC

Historically, there has been limited international regulation on the production, processing and conversion of uranium ore concentrates (UOC). The rest of the fuel cycle is where uranium takes on different forms and full international safeguards have been applied, namely from the products of conversion (uranium oxides, metals, and gases). However, over the past fifteen years technological advances in the uranium industry, coupled with persistent proliferation threats, have increased concerns over the introduction of undeclared uranium (or other source materials) into the nuclear fuel cycle through conversion, fuel fabrication or enrichment plants. In an attempt to close this loophole, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has twice clarified the materials captured under full scope safeguards. In this talk, Cindy Vestergaard will provide an overview of the history of ‘the starting point’, its implementation and how IAEA clarifications are capturing more nuclear materials, from the output of conversion plants to materials within the conversion process (uranyl nitrate) and potentially to the output of mills (UOC).

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