Nuclear safeguards have been an essential part of the global order since the beginnings of the nuclear age. The International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], an international bureaucracy that is supposed to be a non-political, technical institution administers this global nuclear safeguards regime. Even though safeguards have always been controversial, they have turned out to be the most enduring item in the international community’s toolbox to prevent or slow down the spread of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states.
While it is the government’s intention to import all applicable EU law (including Euratom law) directly into the UK legal system in the so called Great Repeal Bill, this will only be practical for safeguards if the UK retains full membership of the Euratom Community during any transitional period agreed with the EU.
Although North Korea has not yet broadcast the parade, images taken by journalists in Pyongyang show that the parade line-up was identical to the lineup seen in a satellite image taken on August 22. Contrary to some earlier prognostications, the parade on Sunday was smaller than the one in February, smaller than past parades, and did not include any nuclear-armed systems.
Since its adoption by 122 states on 7 July 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has frequently been made the target of criticism as regards its Safeguards provisions. The following provides an analysis of these clauses as contained in the Treaty’s Articles 3 and 4, outlines the main arguments that have been leveled against the Treaty in this regard, and responds to these.