Gloves on an Octopus

The task of making sure that countries adhere to nonproliferation standards is both a routine and a highly delicate business for the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. The routine aspect involves the inspection work itself, which is carried out by more than 250 specially trained technicians from some 45 countries (come September, the agency hopes to recruit and train up to 30 more). They are charged with ensuring that there has been no diversion of "significant quantities" -- roughly those required to build an atomic weapon -- of nuclear material from the 876 facilities around the world covered by agency safeguards.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!