• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

Connecting to Meet the Objectives of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Framework


Delegates get an update on the status of the GNSSN and its collaborative activities. (Photo: J.C. Castillo/IAEA)

Building and maintaining the necessary human capacity to safely, securely and sustainably operate and regulate nuclear programmes are two critical components for the current and future growth of nuclear energy. Building this pool of capable engineers and scientists requires knowledge sharing, training capacity-building and communication among those working in the nuclear sector. These were the main topics addressed at the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN)’s annual plenary meeting, held on the margins of the 59th IAEA General Conference yesterday.

An essential prerequisite for any capacity building programme is to have effective coordination procedures at the national level — this point was one of the key messages that emerged from the various presentations. “GNSSN through its coordination mechanism at all levels does provide Member States, with the necessary assistance to reinforce their efforts in building and sustaining their programmes,” said Paul Woodhouse, Head of the IAEA Safety and Security Coordination Section in his opening remarks.

Crossing borders

The GNSSN network is a unique mechanism taking this collaboration to the international level, providing support to Member States, said Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. “GNSSN has grown to a worldwide gateway, encouraging connection, communication and collaboration among its stakeholders. Its international reach gives Member States worldwide access to experts from other regions and other countries, allowing them to obtain and share their knowledge and expertise in specific fields.”

The IAEA is using its technical and scientific expertise to provide relevant information to network members to improve their nuclear safety and security infrastructure by introducing efficient and modern organizational changes. “Networking needs to be robust and focused to ensure that good practices are followed with diligence by IAEA Member States,” said Hartmuth Teske, GNSSN’s Chairman.

Developing the legal framework and keeping pace with international safety and security standards is another area where the network supports its members.

“Keeping abreast with and sharing the latest safety and security international guidelines and procedures for nuclear facilities are critical to sustain and build competences at all levels,” said Lingquan Guo, Head of the IAEA’s Knowledge Network Unit. Since its inception in 2007, the GNSSN has been instrumental in providing direction in the implementation of best practices to ensure continuous improvement in nuclear safety and security, he added.

Global approach to nuclear safety and security

The GNSSN was established in 2007 following INSAG's recommendations to promote and enhance the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Framework (GNSSF). Its overall goal was to address the connection, collaboration and capacity building and information needs of the global community. It has already proved beneficial to newcomers who need to develop new nuclear and radiation protection safety and security infrastructures.

GNSSN has now evolved into a network comprising 18 networks, including global, regional and national safety and security networks, fora and portals.

Since 2011, over 400 capacity building activities have been implemented under the GNSSN framework, gathering more than 3000 experts from 120 Member States, representing nuclear regulatory authorities, governmental organizations, and operators as well as technical and scientific organizations.

“The GNSSN is the single most powerful mechanism to share nuclear safety and security good practices and we need to move forward to make this support mechanism even stronger,” said Woodhouse. 

The GNSSN is the single most powerful mechanism to share nuclear safety and security good practices and we need to move forward to make this support mechanism even stronger.
— Paul Woodhouse, Head, Safety and Security Coordination Section, IAEA
Last update: 04 Sep 2017

Stay in touch