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Malaysia and Thailand Host Nuclear Security Technical and Information Exchange Opportunities Through IAEA Network


Department of Atomic Energy Malaysia hosted a visit to the physical protection systems laboratory in Selangor where participants reviewed the capabilities addressed in and the requirements to develop a similar laboratory. (Photo: Atom Malaysia)

Nigerian nuclear security experts visited Malaysia’s national regulatory authority, Atom Malaysia, and other key nuclear institutes to learn about Malaysia’s experience in human resource development and technical support programmes. The recent visit marked the post COVID-19 restart of core activities of the IAEA’s International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSC) Network, which supports Nuclear Security Support Centres to develop new capabilities.

The technical exchange covered many aspects to support the sustainability of Nigeria’s national nuclear security regime and its operational implementation, as well as discussions on establishing a coordination mechanism for and resourcing an NSSC.

“Sharing the experiences and expertise of members and observers of the NSSC Network is one of the cornerstones of this community of practice,” said Jason Tierney, Head of the Programme Development and International Cooperation Section at the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Security. “The Nigerian delegation visited Malaysia’s NSSC and several stakeholders to build capacity of Nigeria’s human resources development and technical support programmes, by learning from Malaysia’s good practices and lessons learned.”

The exchange visit highlighted the importance of nuclear security culture, the need for promoting a diversified workforce of well-trained professionals, and for implementing a systematic approach to training.

“Malaysia’s stakeholder cooperation is very comprehensive and it was useful to understand how national organizations with different roles and responsibilities in nuclear security collaborate. Malaysia has the highest number of female professionals I have witnessed so far, actively involved in all the facilities we visited; this was particularly very impressive for me as an advocate for Women in Nuclear,” said Pamela West, Nuclear Security Officer at Nigeria’s Office of the National Security Adviser.

Adamu Abdul, Coordinator of the Nigeria NSSC, the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority and National Nuclear Security Coordination Centre, said: “We will explore the possibility of adopting some of Malaysia’s good practices in stakeholder coordination and human resource development. The NSSC stakeholders provided guidance on applying a coordinated, graded approach to training and implementing the results of training needs analysis.”

The exchange visit was supported by funding from Canada. 

Annual NSSC Network Meeting in Thailand

NSSC Network Annual Meeting, Thailand: (Left to right) Pennapa Kanchana, Office of Atoms for Peace, Thailand; NSSC Network Chair Patricia O’Brien; NSSC Network Vice Chair Beth Kaboro, Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority; NSSC Scientific Secretary Quillan Rose, IAEA Nuclear Security Officer. (Photo: Office of Atoms for Peace, Thailand)

Launched in 2012, initially with the support of 29 countries, which has now more than doubled, the NSSC Network enhances the work of national NSSCs by promoting international cooperation through connecting these centres in a community of practice for its members. National NSSCs help foster a culture of nuclear security, by providing training programmes, technical support services for managing the nuclear security equipment lifecycle, and scientific support services for such as providing expertise, analysis, expert advice and support, and research and development.

The 2023 NSSC Network Annual Meeting, hosted by the Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) in Thailand earlier this year, provided the opportunity for the 69 members and 10 observer organizations to share information and resources on key technical themes relevant to developing and operating an NSSC, to promote and facilitate regional cooperation, to welcome new members and to plan NSSC Network activities for the coming year.

Thailand’s two NSSCs, OAP and Chulalongkorn University support the Thai Customs Front Line Officers in operator training and radiation detection equipment alarm adjudication, providing a valuable example of how NSSCs collaborate to support stakeholders’ work in nuclear security. During the meeting, participants visited the Thai Customs Megaports Initiative at Port Laem Chabang.

“This visit allowed the NSSC Network members to witness firsthand the critical role that NSSCs play in enhancing nuclear security in various sectors, including the maritime industry, and in facilitating trade at the seaport,” said Issariya Chairam, Radiation Biologist at OAP. “It was a valuable opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences with other NSSC Network members.”

The 2023 NSSC Network Annual Meeting was supported by funding from the European Union and the United States of America. 

The IAEA supports countries interested in establishing an NSSC or improving the effectiveness of an existing centre based on the IAEA’s guidance on Establishing and Operating a National Nuclear Security Support Centre and on the identified needs for sustaining a country’s national nuclear security regime.

Last update: 07 Aug 2023

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