You are here

Arabic Speaking Countries Discuss Nuclear Security Plans


Participants at the regional meeting held recently in Tunisia shared their experiences in developing and implementing an INSSP (Photo: Z.Hassan/IAEA and Arab Atomic Energy Agency) 

Member countries of the Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR) met recently in Tunisia to exchange best practices, challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of nuclear security activities within the framework of their respective Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs). The meeting highlighted the importance of regional approaches to improve regulatory and operational capacities – approaches which are inherent in the IAEA nuclear security programme.

"Approaching nuclear security through a regional lens improves international cooperation and facilitates the implementation of the IAEA’s nuclear security programme,” said Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security. “Cooperation with regional networks like ANNuR further strengthens the effectiveness of the INSSP support mechanism, creating opportunities to identify and discuss common needs and challenges among countries of geographic proximity or countries with the same language.”

Twenty-eight participants from 14 countries provided information on the implementation of their national INSSPs. Particular areas of focus included activities related to the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security; national threat and risk assessments; physical protection regime; detection of criminal and unauthorized acts involving nuclear or other radioactive material out of regulatory control (MORC); response to nuclear security events involving MORC, and sustaining each State’s nuclear security regime.

Lebanon is currently one of the countries using the INSSP as a mechanism to strengthen its national nuclear security infrastructure. “The workshop allowed us to share our national experience in implementing the INSSP and to discuss the nuclear security challenges in our countries as well as the possible ways to address them,” said Hassan Basat, Section Head Responsible for Authorization, Inspection and Regulations in the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission. “The most important outcome was the identification of INSSP common priority areas that need to be further enhanced among the ANNuR members.”

Currently, 19 out of 22 ANNuR members have an approved INSSP. Globally, 92 countries have approved INSSPs. 

“At a regional level we share borders, as well as specific challenges,” said Shaima Khalid AlJanahi, Head of the Physical Analysis Unit, Radiation Protection Directorate, Supreme Council of Environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain. “The workshop has enabled sharing experience and knowledge that hopefully will be followed by solid actions to improve and strengthen nuclear security in the region.”

The meeting was hosted by the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA) and was financially supported by the European Union.

The INSSP support mechanism

The IAEA helps countries, upon request, to develop an INSSP. This provides the framework for a systematic and comprehensive approach to identifying and prioritizing national nuclear security needs and establishing a plan for implementing nuclear security improvements at the national level. The INSSP process is complemented by a voluntary self-assessment tool available to interested countries through the Nuclear Security Information Portal (NUSEC).

The INSSP and its associated implementation plan enables countries to address their most pressing needs, and to identify those areas they can address themselves and those where they may need to seek assistance from the international community.

Once the needs of each country have been identified, the IAEA can start to build the foundations for targeted assistance, such as that provided by its International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) and the International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ) missions.

The IAEA - Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators cooperation

The Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR) is a regional network established in 2010 under the IAEA Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN). ANNuR fosters, enhances, strengthens and harmonizes radiation protection and nuclear safety and security regulatory infrastructure frameworks in its participating countries, and serves as a forum for the sharing and exchange of regulatory experiences and practices.

Stay in touch