The IAEA has just released a guide for implementing security measures on radioactive sources. Published under the IAEA´s Nuclear Security Series, the publication includes guidance and recommended measures for the prevention of, detection of, and response to malicious acts involving radioactive sources.
This implementation guide is based on extensive input from technical and legal experts. The preparation of this publication has involved extensive consultations with Member States, including an open-ended technical meeting in Vienna in May 2006. As a final step, the draft was circulated to all Member States to solicit further comments and suggestions before publication.
This publication is intended for use by States in formulating security policy for radioactive sources. It is also intended to help regulatory bodies in developing policies that are consistent with the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, which is one of the leading international instruments on radioactive source management. It will also assist State parties to fulfill certain obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
By setting guidance on the security of sources, the publications is expected to serve as a useful tool for legislators and regulators, physical protection specialists and facility and transport operators, as well as law enforcement officers. It will also help towards preventing the loss of control of such sources, and may help operators managing radioactive sources to develop their security programmes.
Growing concern that criminal groups could gain access to high-activity radioactive sources and use the sources maliciously has, today, led to a global trend towards increased control, accounting and security of radioactive sources. In response to a resolution by the IAEA General Conference in September 2002, the IAEA has adopted an integrated approach to protection against nuclear terrorism. This approach coordinates IAEA activities concerned with the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear installations, nuclear material accountancy, detection and response to trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material, the security of radioactive sources, the security in the transport of nuclear and other radioactive material, emergency response and emergency preparedness measures in Member States and at the IAEA, and the promotion of adherence by States to relevant international instruments.
This publication provides guidance that can be used by regulatory authorities when establishing national requirements for the security of radioactive sources.