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Sunday, February 25th, 2024

IPNDV looks to turn nuclear disarmament procedure into practice

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At a meeting of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV) Joint Working Group in Seoul earlier this summer, experts announced their intentions to take ideas for the nuclear dismantlement lifecycle into exercises and technology demonstrations.

This second phase is part of a multi-year effort undertaken by the organization to identify potential procedures and technologies to benefit nuclear dismantlement. In phase one, they produced more than 35 reports and papers, but now, three separate working groups have been designated to put those ideas into practice.

Those teams include the working group for Verification of Nuclear Weapon Declarations, for Verification of Reductions, and for Technologies for Verification.

The Verification of Nuclear Weapon Declarations group — or Working Group 4 — will conduct a tabletop exercise at its next meeting, which will incorporate existing ideas and test them against pre-determined scenarios, alongside examinations of transparency. They have examined ways to build on past efforts like the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

The other groups — Working Group 5 and 6, respectively — are collaborating on the design of practical exercise activities. Working Group 5’s operations will also involve a theoretical state.

“WG5 will investigate whether a physical model, a tool known from IAEA safeguards, could provide a more structured overview of all technologies and processes related to nuclear disarmament within the fictitious state,” said Irmgard Niemeyer, head of Nuclear Safeguards and Security at Germany’s Forschungszentrum Jülich, as well as a member of group 5. “This model could help specify state-specific verification goals and identify verification measures to address these verification goals. By doing so, we hope to introduce more systems thinking to the complex issue of nuclear disarmament verification.”

Working Group 6 is focusing on the actual dismantlement process and building the tools at the organization’s disposal. Through the cooperation, they have identified areas of focus for mapping technologies and procedural details. They are planning practical exercises and demonstrations that will be hosted by such nations as Belgium and Canada.