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IAEA Completes Nuclear Security Advisory Mission in Switzerland

27/2018
Brugg, Switzerland

Swiss flag. (Photo: Joeri Cornille/Flickr)

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

The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission included the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of nuclear material and facilities, as well as contingency planning, transport and computer security. The IPPAS team also reviewed Switzerland’s implementation of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). As part of the review, the team visited the Beznau, Leibstadt and Gosgen nuclear power plants.

The team observed that the nuclear security regime in Switzerland is well-established and incorporates the fundamental principles of the CPPNM and its amendment. The team provided recommendations and suggestions to support Switzerland in further 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, led by Tapani Hack, Section Head for Nuclear Security at Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, included seven other experts from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and the IAEA. The team met with officials from the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), the Federal Office of Energy, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Discussions were also held with representatives of the Federal IT Steering Unit, the Federal Office of Police, the Federal Intelligence Service, the Federal Office for Civil Protection, cantonal police and the Central Interim Storage Facility for nuclear waste.

“By hosting this IPPAS mission, Switzerland has underlined its strong commitment to enhance its nuclear security regime,” said Muhammad Khaliq, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section at the opening of the mission. “This commitment is also demonstrated in the country’s support for the IAEA’s nuclear security work, for example through the active participation of Swiss experts in training events, advisory missions and in work to develop the IAEA Nuclear Security Series.”

“The fundamental objective of nuclear security is to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. Switzerland supports international peer reviews as an effective means of continuous improvement, and we were glad to host the current IPPAS mission,” said Hans Wanner, Director General of ENSI. “We appreciated the informed discussions and experience exchange with the expert team. We commit ourselves to implement the recommendations received in due course.”

Background

The mission was the 84th IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 1995.

IPPAS missions are intended to assist States in strengthening their national nuclear security regime. The missions provide peer advice on implementing international instruments, along with IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities.

During missions, a team of international experts observes a nation's system of physical protection, compares it with international good practices and makes recommendations for improvement. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nationwide and facility-specific basis.

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