Global nuclear security efforts received a boost today with the launch of a new international organisation that will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of security arrangements for nuclear materials through the sharing and promotion of good practices among security professionals. The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) will complement the IAEA´s efforts in nuclear security, currently directed at helping Member States at their request.
WINS will work to strengthen the physical protection and security of nuclear materials and facilities worldwide by focusing on nuclear facility operators to improve security quickly and effectively, as well as to develop best practices. WINS is modelled on the World Association of Nuclear Operators, an organization founded in London after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster to promote global atomic safety.
IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei expressed his support for the new organisation, noting that it will make a significant contribution to improving nuclear security by contributing to and complementing the work of the IAEA. "I welcome the intention of WINS to give increased attention to the corporate dimension of nuclear security. We very much complement each other and work toward the same objective," he said.
WINS is being established by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a Washington DC-based private organization led by former US Senator Sam Nunn and US entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner. Introducing the launch of WINS to an audience of IAEA's General Conference attendees and members of the media, Nunn spoke of the urgency to reinforce the global security regime. "The world cannot afford to have a security Chernobyl before we act. We must dedicate ourselves to reinforce the three nuclear 's': safety, security and safeguards," he said.
Vienna-based WINS is starting with US$6 million in donations and plans to expand in the next two years to an annual budget of US$8 million. It will be headed by Roger Howsley, former Director of Security for British Nuclear Fuels. The institute is expected to bring together a dozen nuclear security experts from the nuclear industry, governments and international organizations.
WINS was launched on the opening day of the IAEA´s 52nd General Conference which is being held in Vienna, Austria, from 29 September-4 October 2009.