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Does the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) require its non-nuclear-weapon members to permit inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of nuclear activities that have not been reported to the IAEA?

Working Paper

Published By

CISAC

April 1992

NPT IAEA 92 cover

This analysis argues that the basic purpose of NPT safeguards—to verify compliance with an obligation not to "manufacture" nuclear weapons—could be easily thwarted if a non-nuclear-weapon party is able to produce nuclear-explosive material and build bombs in facilities that are not declared to the IAEA and inspected by IAEA inspectors.  The language of the NPT, its negotiating history, and the subsequent agreement applying its safeguards provisions all support the conclusion that non-nuclear-weapon NPT parties agreed to permit inspection of activities.

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