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Use an Online Tool to Comprehensively Navigate IAEA Safety and Security Publications

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The IAEA Nuclear Safety and Security Online User Interface allows users to easily find the information they need on activities relating to nuclear installations and application of radiation sources in medicine, industry, agriculture and research. (Photo: P. Shaw/IAEA)

The IAEA collection of Safety Standards and Nuclear Security Series includes more than 150 publications, all of which contain multiple cross references. Many important areas are covered in more than one publication. To make finding comprehensive information in this vast resource easy, the IAEA has developed an advanced search tool, the Nuclear Safety and Security Online User Interface (NSS-OUI), which offers users multiple ways to systematically browse and search these publications.

The Safety Standards and Nuclear Security Series provide guidance to authorities and others involved on how to enhance the safety and security of nuclear technologies. They cover activities relating to nuclear installations and application of radiation sources in medicine, industry, agriculture and research. The publications’ contents are developed by the IAEA in close cooperation with governments and organizations around the world. The publications are revised and updated periodically. The two sets of publications are organized in a hierarchical manner with the Safety Fundamentals and the Nuclear Security Fundamentals applying to all activities and with lower-level publications providing specific recommendations.

“The NSS-OUI forms a key part of the IAEA’s work to support countries in applying these publications,” said Gustavo Caruso, Director of the IAEA’s Office of Safety and Security Coordination. “It is the only platform where all these publications are accessible as a complete set. It also illustrates how higher-level publications, which state the conditions that need to be achieved, are connected with more practical publications, which explain how we get there.”

The NSS-OUI offers searches for specific keywords or text and an advanced semantic search tool. This way, users can quickly find specific requirements, recommendations and guidance related to selected subject areas or concepts.

The interface furthermore allows for more effective revision of their contents by experts, said Mr Caruso. “It is the only way consistency can be assured during the establishment of new standards and the revision of existing ones,” he said. “The tool includes a mechanism for collecting feedback from authorized users, which helps us link new knowledge to existing content and allows for effective revision focused on topics, rather than individual publications.”

The platform has several hundred regular users. They include members of the Safety Standards Committees, the Commission on Safety Standards and the Nuclear Security Guidance Committees. Over 1500 new users started using the NSS-OUI since the beginning of this year, following training courses in several countries.

“This interface is a powerful time-saver. It is a one-stop-shop search engine specifically designed for easy access to the content in the IAEA’s nuclear safety and security series,” said Fiona Charalambous, Assistant Director and Senior Scientist for Assessment and Advice at the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. “It helps me to identify key areas of interest from the standards, to technical reports and much more. It helps me to efficiently discover cross-references that may be of use to my work. For example, I can use key search terms and compare these across standards, guides, recommendations and technical reports within a particular context.”

The NSS-OUI provides updated information on related publications and on references that have been superseded. It also features references and links to other relevant IAEA publications, such as the Technical Documents series. Newly added standards will contain links to the definitions in the IAEA Safety Glossary to help ensure the correct understanding of any special terms that are used.

“Without this interface, you might get lost among all the material included in the Safety Standards and Nuclear Security Series. With it, you will be able to find the information you need,” said Mr Caruso. “In this way, NSS-OUI contributes to global nuclear safety and security.”

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