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Developing Sustainable Nuclear Security Regimes with IAEA Support

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Making nuclear security regimes sustainable was the focus of a panel discussion today, held on the sidelines of the IAEA’s 62nd General Conference. (Photo: F. Nassif/IAEA)

The responsibility for nuclear security within a State rests entirely with that State. The importance of making nuclear security regimes sustainable for the long-term protection of people, property and the environment was the focus of a panel discussion today, held on the sidelines of the IAEA’s 62nd General Conference.

The IAEA helps, upon request, national policymakers and experts to improve nuclear security, manage radioactive sources and combat nuclear terrorism. This aims to reduce the risk that nuclear or other radioactive material could be used to create a threat to international security.

The event highlighted IAEA resources that can help States ensure that their nuclear security regimes remain sustainable over time. Speakers emphasized the role of key publications in the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Series, which provide international consensus guidance on various aspects of nuclear security.

“Following the guidance in the Nuclear Security Series is key to achieving sustainable nuclear security regimes,” said Raja Raja Adnan, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security. “The documents in the series offer guidance to Member States on systems and measures that they can use to strengthen their national nuclear security regime.”

Through a holistic approach, the Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans allow the various nuclear security stakeholders in the country to know their individual responsibilities and better coordinate work in the event of a nuclear security breach.
Arame Boye Faye, Director General, Authority for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, Senegal

The importance of coordination

National nuclear security regimes are comprised of the legislative and regulatory framework, and the national organizations and administrative system responsible for implementing the framework. They also include the nuclear security systems and measures for preventing, detecting and responding to nuclear security events.

“But a regime cannot be sustained merely by laws, regulations and equipment alone — coordination and planning involving stakeholders is also crucial,” Mr Raja Adnan said. Coordinated, regular evaluations of the regime’s effectiveness are key, as is planning that ensures that human resources and technical and scientific capabilities are developed and sustained.

Speakers at the side event highlighted the importance of the IAEA-supported Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs) in establishing sustainable nuclear security regimes. To develop a plan, a State, together with the IAEA, consolidates its prioritized nuclear security needs to facilitate nuclear security improvements and assistance.

INSSPs are based on the guidance provided in Nuclear Security Series publications, with each plan tailored to the State’s specific needs.  The plans facilitate a strategic and graded approach to enhancing the nuclear security regime. In this way, the plans help ensure that States’ efforts in strengthening their nuclear security regime will be sustained over time.

In Senegal, the benefits of the INSSP are evident, said Arame Boye Faye, Director General of Senegal’s Authority for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety.

“Through a holistic approach, the Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans allow the various nuclear security stakeholders in the country to know their individual responsibilities and better coordinate work in the event of a nuclear security breach,” she said.

Participants emphasised the role of Nuclear Security Support Centres (NSSCs) in developing the human resources and technical and scientific support services needed for a sustainable nuclear security regime. By taking a coordinated approach to developing these capabilities through an NSSC, the state can also foster a stronger nuclear security culture and enhance national collaboration among the various organizations involved in nuclear security.

Speakers at the event, held on the sidelines of the IAEA’s 62nd General Conference.(Photo: F. Nassif/IAEA)

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