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China’s Atomic Energy Authority and IAEA to Collaborate to Improve Nuclear Security Equipment

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The IAEA and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), through its State Nuclear Security Technology Center (SNSTC) and the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), signed a Collaborating Centre designation agreement on September 10, 2019. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Under a new cooperation agreement, the IAEA and Chinese institutions will work together to improve the functioning of radiation detection equipment and physical protection systems, including by testing them in a facility that simulates harsh environmental conditions.

The IAEA and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), through its State Nuclear Security Technology Centre (SNSTC) and the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE), signed a Collaborating Centre designation agreement on September 10, 2019.

The four-year agreement provides for collaboration between IAEA and the CAEA in research, development, testing, and training on nuclear security detection and physical protection technologies. 

“Radiation detection equipment and physical protection technologies are key to nuclear security. By cooperating under this agreement, we can better assist Member States in enhancing systems for nuclear security as well as safety that are more effective, efficient, and sustainable,” said IAEA Deputy Director General Juan Carlos Lentijo, Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, who signed the agreement for the IAEA.  

The SNSTC and CIAE will contribute expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to allow the IAEA and its Member States to research and test how radiation detection equipment and physical protection systems react to real life environmental and operational conditions. The SNSTC’s Environmental Testing Laboratory can simulate extreme hot and cold temperatures, high humidity, sandy and dusty conditions, salty mists, vibrations, aging and electromagnetic fields. At the CIAE’s Laboratory of Nuclear Detection Technology Application, efficiency and accuracy of detection equipment can be tested using nuclear and other radioactive material.

A security camera is tested in heavy rain conditions at the China Atomic Energy Authority's State Nuclear Security Technology Centre Environmental Testing Laboratory. (Photo: M. Gaspar/IAEA)

“As a country with a rapidly growing nuclear energy sector, we appreciate that sustainability of electrical production and application of nuclear science and technology depend upon strong nuclear security and safety,” said CAEA Secretary General Deng Ge.  “We are happy to continue collaborating with the IAEA to ensure such sustainability within our own borders and also for the benefit of the rest of the world.”

More than 30 representatives from 21 Member States will participate in the first activity under the agreement, a Technical Meeting on Environmental Testing of Handheld and Portable Radiation Detection Equipment to be held in October 2019 at SNSTC in Beijing.

The Agency has formal collaborating centre agreements with 40 Member State institutions to advance research, development, and training to ensure sustainable benefits of safe and secure peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. The Chinese centre is the third focused on nuclear security.

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