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Nuclear Security Skills Strengthened at IAEA Course in Spain


The IAEA’s International Schools on Nuclear Security help professionals strengthen their skills in and knowledge of nuclear security through lectures and practical exercises. This includes a recent course held for the first time in Spanish. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Professionals from Spanish-speaking countries enhanced their nuclear security skills during a course that ended earlier this month in Valdemoro, Spain.  

The course, which targeted early career professionals, consisted of both lectures and practical exercises covering a range of nuclear security topics, including transport security for nuclear and other radioactive material and threat and risk assessment. Participants also visited the Trillo Nuclear Power Plant where they attended presentations on how nuclear security is implemented.

“This course, offered for the first time in Spanish, was part of the IAEA’s International School on Nuclear Security, which includes courses designed to offer a comprehensive introduction to nuclear security to young professionals,” said Dmitriy Nikonov, Education Officer at the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Security.  

Participant Rosbell Bosch Robaina, a nuclear engineer with Cuba’s National Centre for Nuclear Safety, said he found the training useful.

 “This course bolstered my previous knowledge and helped me understand some of the nuances of nuclear security procedures,” he said. “I learned about IAEA recommendations for nuclear security and how they are implemented.”

The course included several exercises that simulated activities that take place as part of a nuclear security regime. These included detecting and identifying radioactive sources using equipment such as personal radiation detectors and radiation isotope identification devices as well as characterizing an ‘insider threat’, which is a threat posed by someone working for a facility containing nuclear material.     

“The exercises helped reinforce the concepts we were taught during the lectures,” said Rosemari Galotto Amado, a strategic information analyst at Uruguay’s Ministry of Defense. “They emphasized the importance of adopting common criteria for nuclear security practices internationally and highlighted best practices in the area.” In her role with the Ministry of Defense, Galotto Amado has worked together with Uruguay’s National Committee for Nuclear Security to develop a nuclear security framework within Uruguay.     

The course, which took place from 21 May to 1 June, was jointly organized by the IAEA and the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council. It was part of a series of IAEA’s Schools on Nuclear Security. It had 37 participants from 15 countries.

The first IAEA International School on Nuclear Security was held at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste in 2011, where schools have since been held annually. The IAEA has conducted similar courses in English, French and Arabic as well.

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