Representatives of more than 90 countries will meet in Vienna from 30 March to 3 April 2009 to assess the achievements of seven years of global efforts to improve the protection and control of radioactive material, and to chart a course for future nuclear security activities.
The International Symposium on Nuclear Security, organized by the IAEA, will provide policymakers and experts with the opportunity to determine how to best coordinate their efforts to improve nuclear security, manage radioactive sources, and combat nuclear terrorism.
"The landscape has changed over these seven years," says Anita Nilsson, head of the IAEA´s Office of Nuclear Security. "A considerable investment has been made to strengthen nuclear security - an effort that has provided us with a significant amount of knowledge about nuclear security threats and what can be done to alleviate them."
The symposium will also consider fresh challenges associated with renewed support for civilian nuclear power and the possibility of more nuclear material in circulation stemming from nuclear disarmament. Consideration will also be given to the impact of the current economic crisis on spending levels.
From 1996 until 2008, the IAEA conducted 168 nuclear security missions. Last year, it undertook 21 missions focusing on states´ physical protection of nuclear and other radioactive material, associated facilities and transport; nuclear security legislative and regulatory frameworks; detection and response to the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material; planning and preparedness for nuclear security at major public events; and planning and preparedness for responding to malicious acts.