Blix and Safeguards History

I’ve written about this 2014 interview before. But I thought I’d highlight what he said about the origins of IAEA safeguards:

And when the nuclear started, then the—to enforce or demand inspection by international inspectors in big industrial installations was not anything popular in the countries of those days. Germany, Belgium, were traditionally very negative to having inspectors milling around, especially as the nuclear weapons states did not have to do it.Now, they consented to do it on a voluntary basis, which was some little consolation, but anyway, the attitude traditionally in the world is not to accept international inspection. So it was something novel and I think very important. And I think fact-finding and partial fact-finding is a very valuable feature in the world, just as we have our criminal investigations, we want to have—also professional and capable organizations that do it objectively. We are not there as an enemy, but we are there as a trustee in the world.Now, there was this attitude that meant that the whole system of safeguards inspection by the IAEA did not—were not given much teeth. They were to check—focus—upon the nuclear fissionable material and they were in practice confined to going to sites that were declared.

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