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U.S. Support Program to IAEA Safeguards

The United States Support Program (USSP) was established in 1977 to fund research and development activities on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Department of Safeguards. The support provided to the IAEA has been aimed at generally supporting the IAEA's safeguards mission and also at specific safeguards initiatives. The USSP provides extra budgetary assistance for tar­geted projects to resolve technical safeguards issues.  The USSP is primarily funded through the U.S. Program of Technical Assistance to IAEA Safeguards (POTAS). POTAS responds primarily to formal requests from the IAEA for technical assistance to address IAEA safeguards and infrastructure needs.

The USSP is managed by the International Safeguards Project Office (ISPO) located at Brookhaven National Laboratory. ISPO is responsible for the day-to-day technical and administrative manage­ment of the USSP. ISPO also provides administrative support and liaison services to the Subgroup on Safeguards Technical Support (SSTS) in carrying out POTAS. The SSTS is an interagency working group with representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The USSP responds to official requests for assistance from the IAEA's Director of the Division of Safeguards Concepts and Planning (SGCP). The IAEA’s Support Program Coordination Team, in the SGCP Section for Strategic Planning and External Coordination, coordinates task requests. Tasks sponsored by the USSP provide training, equipment development and implementation, studies of safeguards systems, software and hardware development and upgrades, procedures, analysis, and human resources.  In recent years, the USSP has sponsored projects to assist the IAEA across a broad spectrum of disci­plines, including non-destructive analysis of nuclear material, containment/surveillance capabilities, environmental monitoring techniques, remote moni­toring, and information collection, processing and analysis. Assistance is provided to the USSP by a number of U.S. participants, including private sector busi­nesses, Department of Energy national laboratories, individual consultants on short-term assignments, and cost-free experts and junior professional officers who live in Vienna and work at IAEA headquarters.