Nuclear safeguards are measures to verify that countries comply with their international obligations not to use nuclear materials (plutonium, uranium and thorium) from their civil nuclear programmes to manufacture nuclear weapons. The application of safeguards measures in the UK derives from the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (the Euratom Treaty) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) – and the measures involved are implemented by the safeguards inspectorates of the European Commission and the IAEA.
Safeguards obligations in the UK are however a direct consequence of the UK Government’s signature of Treaties and Safeguards Agreements, and the role of the ONR Safeguards function is to:
The UK Safeguards Office (UKSO) was transferred from the then Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to what was HSE’s Nuclear Directorate in 2007. Details of the activities that were transferred were set-out in an agreement between the Health and Safety Executive and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and an accompanying Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Further information on the work covered by the team can be obtained by contacting: