• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

IAEA Mission to Costa Rica Encourages Continued Improvement in Nuclear Security Arrangements

San José, Costa Rica

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed an advisory service mission to Costa Rica to assess the country's nuclear security regime for nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control (MORC). The team found that several processes and measures for the nuclear security regime in relation to MORC are implemented and encouraged Costa Rica to further enhance national coordination for the implementation of nuclear security measures for MORC. It was the first such mission to the country.

The mission, carried out at the request of the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) of the Republic of Costa Rica and in close coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship (MOFA) took place from 4 to 15 March. Seven experts from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, the United States of America and the IAEA participated in this mission.

International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ) missions aim to help States to better prevent, detect and respond to criminal and intentional unauthorized acts involving nuclear or other radioactive material, known as MORC, which is lost, missing, stolen, improperly disposed of, or not adequately stored or handled.

This mission aimed to review the current state of nuclear security in relation to MORC in Costa Rica and to provide recommendations on how to strengthen it in accordance with international legal instruments and guidance and good practices.

The team conducted a series of meetings with officials from the Ministry of Presidency, MOFA, the OIJ, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health, the Fire Department, National Emergency Commission, the 911 Emergency System, the University of Costa Rica, and the Atomic Energy Commission.

The INSServ team visited facilities of the OIJ, including its Forensic Science Laboratory, the Directorate of Intelligence and National Security (DIS), the Special Intervention Unit (UEI), the Fire Department, the University of Costa Rica, and the 911 Emergency Centre in San Jose.

“Costa Rica is in the process of establishing a framework to regulate and respond to events related to MORC”, said Team Leader Carlos Nogueira from Brazil. “We appreciate the high level of cooperation throughout the mission and hope that the mission’ recommendations and suggestions will assist the country to strengthen its nuclear security systems and measures for MORC.”

The team said that Costa Rica is on track to achieve tangible results in establishing a nuclear security regime for MORC. Still, it recommended the country to further work on the national response system for criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving MORC, and to introduce relevant offences and appropriate penalties in its national legal framework.  Further recommendations addressed aspects of coordination among competent authorities, especially with regard to the definition of different roles and responsibilities.

The team identified the timely notification of incidents and emergencies to relevant authorities by Costa Rica´s 911 Emergency System as a good practice. The team also acknowledged that the country successfully developed and deployed nuclear security systems and measures for the FIFA U20 Women´s World Cup in 2022 with IAEA assistance.

“The full scope INSServ mission to Costa Rica builds on the country’s systematic cooperation with the IAEA for the enhancement of MORC-related nuclear security detection and response systems,” said Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security, during the closing session. “We welcome that Costa Rica hosted this mission, which is also the first INSServ conducted under the new INSServ guidelines for Latin America and the Caribbean.”

IAEA’ INSServ missions are part of ongoing efforts to assist Member States in strengthening their nuclear security regimes in relation to MORC. The Agency provides a range of services in this area, including expert advice, training, and equipment support, to help Member States protect against criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving such materials.

“We would like to express our gratitude for the guidance the IAEA has provided to Costa Rica through the assessment. We appreciate the suggestions and recommendations of the international team of experts. They will be of great benefit to the national nuclear security regime, particularly in enhancing the coordination among competent authorities,” said Ambassador Alejandro Solano, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs, MOFA.


The mission was the 87th INSServ mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 2006.

INSServ missions, based on the INSServ guidelines published in 2019, assist States in establishing, maintaining and strengthening their nuclear security regime related to nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control.

The missions provide independent advice on implementing international instruments, along with IAEA guidance on the prevention and detection of and response to criminal and intentional unauthorized acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control.

Stay in touch