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Euratom safeguards

The Euratom Treaty establishes a nuclear material supervision system known as ‘Euratom safeguards’.

The Euratom Treaty (2012/C 327/01), establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), lays down the foundation for the peaceful use of nuclear materials and technologies in the EU and establishes a nuclear material supervision system, known as ‘Euratom safeguards’, under the responsibility of the European Commission.

The Euratom Treaty explicitly requires the Commission to ensure non-diversion of civil nuclear materials from their intended uses and compliance with the safeguards obligations assumed by the Euratom Community under the relevant international agreements.

Revision of the regulation on the application of the Euratom safeguards

On 21 December 2023 the Commission published a proposal to update and replace Regulation 302/2005 in order to take account of developments in recent years in the nuclear sector and in information technology, thereby ensuring the continued effectiveness and efficiency of Euratom safeguards. In line with the Euratom Treaty, it is now for the Council to approve this new regulation.

Reporting and verification

All users of nuclear materials within the EU must provide information on their installations, and report on the flows and inventories of nuclear materials to the Commission, as outlined in Commission Regulation (Euratom/302/2005).

The Commission verifies the correctness, completeness and coherence of the declarations of flows and stocks of nuclear materials provided by the users of nuclear materials as well as the correspondence of the physical reality to the declarations.

This involves

  • monitoring and evaluating the users’ nuclear material accounting and control system
  • physical verifications, performed both at the Commission headquarters in Luxembourg and on-site at the installations, where nuclear material is used

The Commission draws annual safeguards conclusions evaluating the findings of its safeguards activities. It has the right to impose sanctions in case of infringement of Euratom safeguards provisions.

International dimension

Under the Euratom Treaty, Euratom can cooperate with non-EU countries and international organisations on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Euratom has signed such nuclear cooperation agreements with several non-EU countries, including the main suppliers in the field. These agreements govern, for example, the transfer of nuclear materials, equipment and technologies.

At the international level, nuclear safeguards, as part of the measures for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, are the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). All EU countries are members of the IAEA and have signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The NPT distinguishes between non-nuclear-weapon countries and nuclear-weapon countries. Therefore, 2 multilateral safeguards agreements were concluded

  • the safeguards agreement and its respective additional protocol between the EU non-nuclear weapons countries, Euratom and the IAEA
  • the safeguards agreement and its respective additional protocol between France, Euratom and the IAEA

In implementing these agreements, the Commission and the IAEA collaborate closely by performing joint inspections of installations and using common instruments and tools, while maintaining their ability to draw independent conclusions.


13 DECEMBER 2023
Report from the Commission Euratom Safeguards Report 2020 - 2021

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