Department of Non - Proliferation

Basic Information

The main aim in the area of the control of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is to make the control tasks more effective and thus to reduce further the risks of possible misuse of nuclear items for other than peace purposes. The work of the State Office for Nuclear safety (SONS) in this area is based on the Resolution 1540 of the UN Security Council, which bound UN member states to accept transparent measures for strengthening the control of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The goal of these measures is to prevent the illicit trafficking with nuclear materials and other nuclear items suitable for the development and manufacturing of nuclear weapons and so far efficiently reduce the risk of the nuclear terrorism.

The verification approaches and measures utilized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify that nuclear materials are not diverted from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) commitments are commonly referred to as "safeguards".

The work of the SONS is targeted on the area of state control over the nuclear items, on fulfilling international obligations of the Czech Republic in accordance with the NPT, the Agreement between the IAEA, Euratom and non-weapon member states in connection with the NPT (Safeguards Agreement) and the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement. The Additional protocol issues the inspectors the power to supervise not only nuclear materials and sites where have been previously or is being handled now with the nuclear materials, but the state’s nuclear program, for example the development or manufacture of components for nuclear facilities.

After the accession to the European Union the Division observes provisions of Chapter VII of the Euratom Treaty and controls and coordinates the fulfillment of the regulations of the European Commission.

The SONS consistently continues to implement the State/level Integrated Safeguards Approach in the Czech Republic. The integrated safeguards system of the IAEA constitutes the highest level of safeguards at the IAEA. The aim is to integrate, in an optimal way, a set of measures to enhance the IAEA’s capability to verify correctness through nuclear accountancy measures, complemented by containment and surveillance with measures to verify completeness through the broader information and access provisions of the Additional protocol. Integrated safeguards seek to benefit from the synergy resulting from the combination of “correctness” measures and “completeness” measures to achieve greater overall effectiveness and cost efficiency. A specific integrated safeguards approach is developed for each State with both the Safeguards agreement and the Additional protocol in force. An integrated safeguards approach can be implemented when the IAEA Secretariat has been able to draw the safeguards conclusion for a State, and for a given year, that all nuclear materials remained in peaceful activities.

The activity of the Division for control of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons of the SONS is aimed at managing specialized issues that arise from fulfilling international commitments of the Czech Republic. These subjects stem from relevant acts, treaties and agreements that regulate the international regime of nuclear non-proliferation. The Division acts as an authority organ at the SONS also in administrating the national legal enactments in this field and it is the responsibility of the Division to merge the requirements of the regime of Nuclear Non-proliferation in the national legislation.

On the national level the activity of SONS and thus the Division for control of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is determined by the Act No. 263/2016 Coll. (the "Atomic Act"). The Division is also for its implementing regulations (No. 374/2016, No. 375/2016 and No. 376/2016).

The Department of Non-Proliferation, specifically the Division of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, ensures within the competence of the SONS pursuant to the Atomic Act the following: 

  • State supervision of nuclear items and control of adherence to conditions in the nuclear material management licenses, including licensing of their imports and exports likewise, it shall inspect the adherence to the fulfilment of the obligations arising out of the Atomic Act;
  • monitoring non-proliferation of nuclear weapons;
  • maintaining a State system of accounting for and control of nuclear materials, data and information in accordance with international agreements binding on the Czech Republic, and shall set out requirements for accounting methods and inspection thereof in an implementing legal regulation;
  • maintaining a national system for registration of nuclear material management licensees, and imported and exported trigger-list items, which are defined as materials, equipment and technologies designed or manufactured to be used in the nuclear field;
  • ensuring international co-operation in the field of safeguards and international control regimes, in particular, shall be an intermediary of technical co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency; It shall also communicate information to the European Commission or, if applicable, to other bodies of the European Union;
  • having power to decide on assurance of handling nuclear items which not have been handled in accordance with the rules of law, or where the detrimental condition has not been removed. 

Legal framework

European Commission Regulation 

 

  • Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.
  • COMMISSION REGULATION (Euratom) No. 302/2005 on the application of Euratom safeguards

National Legislation 

  • Act No. 263/2016 Coll., the „Atomic Act“
  • Decree No. 374/2016 Coll., on the accountancy and control of nuclear materials and reporting of information on them
  • Decree No. 375/2016 Coll., on trigger-list items
  • Decree No. 376/2016 Coll., on nuclear-related dual-use items

Contacts

Director of Department
of Non-Proliferation:
Mr. Michal Merxbauer
Head of Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Division: 
Mr. Ondřej Šťastný
Address: State Office for Nuclear Safety
Department of Non - Proliferation
Senovážné náměstí 9
110 00 Prague 1 
Czech Republic
Phone: +420 226 514 768 (Mr. Merxbauer)
+420 226 514 750 (Mr. Šťastný)
Fax: +420 221 514 420