Nuclear Weapons | Other Publication

Nuclear Security Checklist Results Demonstrating Implementation of IAEA Information Circular 869

December 2016


The Strengthening Nuclear Security Implementation Initiative, now International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Information Circular 869 (INFCIRC/869), represents a significant step in harmonizing and strengthening the nuclear security regime. Supported by 38 countries, the initiative is intended to move states toward full implementation of IAEA security documents, improve national operators’ systems, and ensure that nuclear management and staff are qualified and capable. The Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group (NSGEG) believes that this initiative provides a catalyst for states to demonstrate their shared commitment to improving nuclear and radiological security. However, the initiative lacks a method for states to report their progress on meeting their nuclear security commitments.

To enhance accountability and confidence building under the Strengthening Nuclear Security Initiative, the NSGEG developed a checklist to help states understand and share information on the activities required to fully implement INFCIRC/869. It offers a practical tool for states to self-assess their national nuclear security systems and build confidence in their stewardship of nuclear assets.

This checklist was then sent to all 38 countries participating in the Strengthening Nuclear Security Initiative, with a request for them to return completed checklists and report their progress. Nine countries–Australia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Romania, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam–submitted completed checklists.

This working paper assesses the positive trends in progress on nuclear security implementation as reported by those countries through their completed checklists. The NSGEG concludes that this checklist exercise, if more signatory countries to SNSI were to participate, could create a baseline assessment of how well each country is meeting its commitments and provide a starting point for conversations among countries for how to achieve full implementation.

The NSGEG commends these nine states for their commitment to nuclear security excellence and encourages others to follow their lead.


The Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group is a multi-sector coalition of experts from 11 countries working to make today’s nuclear security regime more cohesive, responsive, and robust by 2020. The NSGEG is a joint project of the Stanley Center, the Partnership on Global Security, and the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.