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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Containment/surveillance measures (C/S measures)

The application of containment and/or surveillance to complement nuclear material accountancy. The use of C/S measures is aimed at verifying information on movement of nuclear or other material, equipment and samples, or preservation of the integrity of safeguards relevant data. In many instances C/S measures cover the periods when the inspector is absent, thus ensuring the continuity of knowledge for the IAEA and contributing to cost effectiveness. Containment/surveillance measures are applied, for example:

  • During flow and inventory verification, to ensure that each item is verified without duplication and that the integrity of samples is preserved;
  • To confirm that there has been no change to the inventory previously verified and thus reduce the need for remeasurement;
  • To ensure that IAEA equipment, working papers and supplies have not been tampered with;
  • If necessary, to isolate ('freeze') nuclear material that has not been verified until it can be measured.

The indication of an anomaly by C/S measures does not necessarily by itself indicate that material has been removed. The ultimate resolution of C/S anomalies is provided by nuclear material verification. If any C/S measure has been, or may have to be, compromised, the IAEA shall, unless agreed otherwise, be notified by the fastest means available. Examples of compromising might be seals which have been broken inadvertently or in an emergency, or seals of which the possibility of removal after advance notification to the IAEA has been agreed upon between the IAEA and the State.


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