A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts today completed a mission to review nuclear security practices in Hungary.
At the request of the Government of Hungary, the IAEA conducted the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission that reviewed the nation's nuclear security-related legislative and regulatory framework, physical protection systems at Hungarian nuclear facilities, and security arrangements applied to the transport of nuclear and radioactive materials.
The IAEA team was led by Stephen Ortiz of the United States and included nine experts from six nations and the IAEA. The team met in Budapest with officials from the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority, Hungarian Police Headquarters, National Security Authority and other relevant agencies. They also conducted site visits to the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility, the Budapest Research Reactor, the Budapest Training Reactor, the Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility and several other locations where high activity radioactive sources are used for different applications.
"At a time where development of a nuclear power programme is more than ever recognised as necessitating a strong commitment to safety, security and sustainability, the example given today by Hungary strengthens the message about the value of applying the IAEA Security Guidance," said IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety and Security, Denis Flory, who opened the mission. "Indeed, IPPAS missions, carried out at the appropriate time in the development of a nuclear power programme, provide valuable insights into how best to reach that goal."
The IPPAS team concluded that nuclear security within Hungary has been significantly enhanced in recent years. The team also identified a number of good practices at the nation's nuclear facilities, and provided some recommendations and suggestions to assist Hungary in the continuing improvement of nuclear security.
The IPPAS team provided a draft report to the HAEA and will submit a final report soon. Because it contains security-related information about specific Hungarian nuclear sites, the report cannot be made publicly available.
"Hungary will implement recommendations and suggestions in the near future, and we intend to invite a follow-up mission afterwards," said Kristóf Horváth, Deputy Director General of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority.
The mission was the 59th IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the program began in 1995, and the second requested by the Hungary (the first was conducted in 1997).
IPPAS missions are intended to help nations strengthen their national nuclear security regime. The missions provide peer advice on implementing international instruments, and IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities.
The missions call upon a team of international experts to assess a nation's system of physical protection, compare it with international best practices and make recommendations for improvements. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nation-wide and facility-specific basis.
Hungary is party to all international instruments relevant to nuclear security, including the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and has ratified its 2005 Amendment. Hungary also supports the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources as well as the Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources.
The IAEA will host a major Nuclear Security Conference in Vienna on 1-5 July 2013. All 159 IAEA Member States have been invited to the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts, which will provide a global forum for senior officials to discuss nuclear security priorities.