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IAEA Completes Nuclear Security Advisory Mission in Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts today completed a nuclear security advisory mission in Ecuador. The mission was carried out at the request of the Government of Ecuador.

The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission included the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of radioactive material, regulatory licensing, inspection and enforcement as well as coordination among authorities and other stakeholders involved in nuclear security. In September 2017, Ecuador ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its incorporation into the nuclear security regime was also included in the scope of the mission.

“Peaceful nuclear applications have contributed to the economic, technological and scientific development of Ecuador,” said Rubén Barreno Ramos, the Vice Minister for Electricity and Renewable Energy of Ecuador. “Throughout this process, Ecuador has been aware of the importance of nuclear security in the application of nuclear science and technology, as well as the IAEA’s guidance documents and international good practices. We appreciate the continuous support and assistance of the IAEA.”

The IPPAS team carried out a number of visits, including to a steel company that uses gamma radiography, two hospitals, the National Polytechnic University and a company that transports radioactive material. In addition, the team visited a temporary storage facility for disused radioactive sources in Alóag, a town about 50 km south of the capital, Quito.

The team observed that Ecuador is making efforts towards enhancing its national nuclear security regime. The team provided recommendations and suggestions to support Ecuador in enhancing and sustaining nuclear security. Good practices were identified that can serve as examples to other IAEA Member States to help strengthen their nuclear security activities.  

The team was led by David Ek, Security Program Manager at Sandia National Laboratories in the United States and included five other experts from Argentina, Bulgaria, the Russian Federation and the IAEA. The team met in Quito with officials from the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy including its Undersecretariat for Nuclear Control and Applications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Public Health, National Police, the Social Security Institute, and the Intelligence Secretariat.

“Expert peer review and advisory missions are among the most important services offered by the IAEA,” Raja Adnan, Director of the IAEA’s Division for Nuclear Security, said at the end of the mission. “At the request of the Government of Ecuador, the IAEA can undertake the agreed follow-up activities as soon as possible, which may include human resource development and training, development of nuclear security regulations and laws, and improvements in nuclear security systems and measures.”

“The preparation for the IPPAS mission and the advice given by the international team provide a solid basis for the further improvement of our nuclear security regime,” said Rodrigo Salas, Head of the Undersecretariat for Nuclear Control and Applications. “Ecuador looks forward to implementing the IAEA team’s recommendations and suggestions, thereby contributing to strengthening nuclear security worldwide.”

For further information on the IPPAS mission, please see this page.




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