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UN Nuclear Agency Computer System Is Out Of Date

UN Nuclear Agency Warns That Computer System Is Out Of Date

Calling on United Nations Member States for special contributions, the UN’s nuclear weapons watchdog today warned that its late 1970s computer system is now too old to help its inspectors do an efficient job and needs to be updated.

"Extracting information can take hours and days, making timely analysis of relevant safeguards data difficult and expensive," said the International Atomic Energy Agency’s IAEA) Livio Costantini. "We need to prepare for new data to be included when drawing safeguards conclusions, such as open source, imagery, and import and export information.

"A major overhaul of the system is needed to allow inspectors immediate, secure online access to safeguards information."

Under agreements with more than 140 countries, IAEA inspectors must verify that safeguarded nuclear material and nuclear developments are not used for military purposes.

The agency estimated its computer system’s extra-budgetary funding needs at $10 million, after receiving contributions towards the overhaul from the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Failure to replace the hardware and software, and to integrate fully all the information system components will carry large risks," the Vienna-based Agency warned in a statement.

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