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Upcoming Events:

Dr. Jeremy Whitlock

Date & Time:

JHE – H324

Event Contact:

Dr. David Novog

IAEA Safeguards:  Preparing for SMRs



As the inescapable benefits of nuclear energy are increasingly recognized, the number of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) designs proposed around the word has skyrocketed to almost a hundred. These innovative designs fire the nuclear imagination – from the evolutionary to the revolutionary – and evoke a time over a half-century ago when similar creativity in the nuclear enterprise was first witnessed (with many of these concepts now making a return, updated showing). A key difference today is that many of the advanced concepts are being proposed for non-nuclear weapons States (NNWS) under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), such as Canada – meaning that they would be immediately subject to full-scope nuclear safeguards under a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) with the IAEA. If only a fraction of the proposed SMR technologies advance to this stage on a timescale approaching their publicized goals, the IAEA will be challenged to meet the safeguards obligations of its Member States due to the many innovative designs and deployment models involved. However, the IAEA must be ready: this means working with SMR designers as early as possible to develop efficient safeguards approaches, verification technologies, and design modifications to better enable safeguards – a process known as ‘Safeguards by Design’ (SBD). This talk will present the challenge of safeguarding SMRs, and how the IAEA is preparing for the task – a key element of its mandate to support safe, secure, and peaceful nuclear expansion.


Dr. Jeremy Whitlock is a Senior Technical Advisor in the Department of Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), with three decades as a scientist and manager in the Canadian and international nuclear community.

Prior to his move to the IAEA in 2017 he worked for 22 years at AECL and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, in both reactor physics and non-proliferation R&D.

Dr. Whitlock has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Waterloo (1988), and an M.Eng. and PhD in Engineering Physics (reactor physics) from McMaster University (1995).

He is a Past-President, Fellow, and former Communications Director of the Canadian Nuclear Society. Since 1997 he has also maintained the Canadian Nuclear FAQ (, which he’s proudly heard described (he thinks in a good way) as the OG website on Canadian nuclear technology.

Dr. Whitlock lives in Vienna, Austria, and feels that canoes are the closest humans have come to inventing a perfect machine.