Hot Spots, Weak Links
Strengthening Nuclear Security in a Changing World

To support the implementation of these instruments, the Agency develops and provides guidelines and recommendations. In addition, supporting technical documents have been developed on a range of security related topics. They include design basis threat methodology, vital area identification, categorization of radioactive sources, security of sources, functional specification for detection instruments, the protection against sabotage against nuclear facilities, the due consideration of an "insider" threat, information technology security at nuclear installations, and preparedness and response to malicious acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material. The IAEA Nuclear Security Series of documents will provide a vehicle to reach a broader audience for publications in nuclear security.

International IAEA conferences such as the International Conference on the Security of Radioactive Sources held in Vienna, Austria (the Hofburg Conference) in 2003, and on National Infrastructures for Radiation Protection held in Rabat, Morocco, are effective means of addressing urgent topics in an international setting. In 2005, an international conference on nuclear security as a whole will be convened as well as an international conference on the safety and security of radioactive sources as a follow-up on the Hofburg conference in 2003.

To enhance co-ordination at an international level, the IAEA participates in the meeting of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, and works closely with a number of international organizations, including Interpol, Europol, and World Customs Organization, in a wide range of areas for nuclear security.

Building a Robust Regime

The global nuclear security regime, which is at an early stage of its development, should be strengthened. This process should include both tackling the "hot spots" and eliminating "weak links."

Emphasis is on achieving an effective comprehensive global nuclear security framework that will serve as a reference point for States' efforts and for the Agency's support. Due consideration must be given to international and regional cooperation in efforts to protect against nuclear terrorism. It is essential that issues of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear safety and nuclear security be dealt with on a comprehensive and integrated basis in order to achieve maximum success for the peaceful, safe, and secure use of nuclear technology.

A Comprehensive Approach to Security

The IAEA has adopted a broad conceptual approach to nuclear security by pursuing "the means and ways of preventing, detecting, and responding to sabotage, theft and unauthorised access to or illegal transfer of nuclear material and other radioactive substances, as well as their associated facilities."1

Global Security & Sustainable Development

While in the past, matters related to nuclear safety, safeguards and, in particular, nuclear security, were each dealt with separately, recent developments have unfolded their overlaps and potential synergies. The 2003 IAEA General Conference2 acknowledged such linkages and noted, inter alia, that strengthening the safety of radioactive sources contributes to enhanced security of such sources. It further noted that safeguards agreements, additional protocols, as well as States' systems of accounting for and control of nuclear materials, contribute to preventing illicit trafficking, deterring and detecting diversion of nuclear materials.

Both developed and developing countries depend on the continued availability of nuclear energy and on the day-to- day access to radioactive materials used in medicine, agriculture and industry. Continued peaceful uses of nuclear and radioactive substances are essential for sustainable development.

It has long been widely recognized that the development and use of nuclear technology require due consideration to human health and safety. There is now a growing awareness that these activities also require adequate security to protect them from malicious acts. Nuclear security and sustainable development, therefore, respectively serve each other's needs and are important mutual prerequisites. An increased focus on and support for the process of sustainable development and equitable socioeconomic relations could have positive impact on efforts to address the root causes of terrorism and thus alleviate threats against peaceful nuclear activities.

1IAEA working definition of nuclear security adopted by the IAEA Advisory Group on Nuclear Security.
2IAEA General Conference Resolution, "Nuclear and Radiological Security: Progress on Measures to Protect against Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism," GC(47)/ RES/8, September 2003.

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