State level concepts, or SLC, have been a burr under the IAEA’s saddle as it seeks to introduce a broader approach to its conduct of safeguards to verify states’ compliance with their obligations under the Treaty On The Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The SLC is a comprehensive approach to implementing safeguards that emphasizes using all available and relevant information about a state’s nuclear program to guide the Agency’s safeguards activities in that state, instead of focusing on specific facilities.
A safeguards implementation plan for a specific state that uses this concept is called a state-level approach.
According to the IAEA, applying state-level approaches allows it to more efficiently use its limited resources and focus more on detection of possible undeclared activities.
The Agency says that the SLC approach is more efficient and makes better use of its resources by using all available and relevant information about a state’s nuclear program instead of focusing on specific facilities.
There has been resistance from several IAEA member states to SLC. At the start of its Safeguards Symposium, 20 – 24 October, regrettably closed to media, the following statement was delivered by the head of Russia’s delegation Grigory Berdennikov.