Adrián E. Méndez Torres - IAEA
Jean-Philippe Morizot - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Junyi Koh - SHENA
Mohd Firdaus MD Shah - SHENA
Mohd Khairul Azfar bin Ramli - SHENA
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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has made a call to all States with a comprehensive safeguards agreement (CSA) with original-text small quantities protocol (SQP) to amend or rescind the SQP. For the IAEA, the amended SQP (mSQP) increases the effectiveness of safeguards by addressing some limitations that have been identified in the original SQP. The mSQP strengthens the IAEA’s ability to draw credible safeguards conclusions for States with minimal or no nuclear material or activities. A State amending its SQP needs to ensure that it can fulfill its legal obligations under the mSQP. The process of amending the SQP includes discussion at the highest governmental levels, coordination with all stakeholders, and consultation with the IAEA. In addition, the State may need to enact new or modify existing legislation to incorporate its safeguards obligations, a process that can be lengthy depending on the resources and priorities of the State. Within the mSQP framework, the State should designate a State or regional authority responsible for safeguards implementation (SRA) that will establish and maintain the State system of accounting for and control of nuclear material (SSAC), submit its initial report on all nuclear material subject to safeguards and facilitate safeguard inspections. The State must ensure that the SRA and all the stakeholders have the tools, training and resources to fulfill their safeguards-related legal obligations. The intention of this paper is to share the lessons learned during the process of amending the SQP and for the first IAEA safeguards inspection in a particular State: Brunei Darussalam. Discussion and close cooperation between the IAEA, government officials, and the SRA were key for the successful implementation of the mSQP. The paper describes the implementation of Brunei Darussalam’s safeguards obligations following the signing of the mSQP in 2021 and may serve as a road map for other States that are in the process of amending their respective SQPs.