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The European Safeguards Research and Development Association grew out of a series of research contracts (starting in 1969) between the European Atomic Energy Community, EURATOM, and research organisations, in certain of its member states, working in research and development for safeguards purposes. These provided means of exchanging information on their work and technical assistance, and of preventing unnecessary duplication.

Editorial Committee, Bulletin issue n.1 (1981)

What is ESARDA?

About ESARDA 50 years

ESARDA, the European Safeguards Research and Development Association, is comprised of European organisations actively involved in the Research and Development of Nuclear Safeguards.

Nuclear Safeguards can be described as a verification system that works within the framework of international nuclear material control and non-proliferation. It is applied to maintain the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The objective is to make sure that civil nuclear material, which could otherwise be used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, is exclusively used for peaceful applications.

The control of civil nuclear material is mandatory within the EU territory in line with the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (“Euratom Treaty”) which entered into force in 1958. The Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force in 1970, provides for Nuclear Safeguards on a world-wide basis.
The 1960s were a period of intense R&D activity in safeguards, due to the rapid expansion of nuclear energy production. ESARDA was created in 1969.

The ESARDA network includes national regulatory authorities (carrying out the controls), operators of nuclear facilities (those being controlled), and research centres and universities (carrying out the safeguards-related R&D).

The European Commission represents the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

Representatives from other organisations that are not member parties, amongst them the IAEA, ABACC and INMM, regularly take part in ESARDA’s activities


ESARDA is an association established by an Agreement, which has legal force according to the Belgian law. In 2020 there were 32 Parties to this agreement plus 14 Associated members and several Individual members.

To view the updated list of Parties and Associated members visit the Who's who section.

The Association is ruled by a Steering Committee that consists of all Parties of the Agreement. Each Party has one vote. Associated and Individual members may attend the meetings but do not have any voting rights.

The Steering Committee elects a President and a vice President for a duration of two years.

The Association has a Secretary, who is in charge of the daily management.

The Association is managed by an Executive Board, whose members are appointed by the Steering Committee for fours years, in representation of 7 Parties. The Euratom Safeguards Office has a permanent observer in the Executive Board.

ESARDA Documents


ESARDA Agreement
(502.67 KB - PDF)


Press Kit

ESARDA Brochure
(920.01 KB - PDF)
ESARDA Presentation
(1.91 MB - PDF)
ESARDA Achievements
(1.69 MB - PDF)