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

You are here

IAEA Mission to Georgia Finds Progress in Nuclear Security Arrangements, Encourages Continued Improvement

Tbilisi, Georgia

Members of the INSServ team meet with a police officer during the IAEA mission to Georgia.  (Photo: IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed an advisory service mission to Georgia focused on assessing the country's nuclear security regime for nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control (MORC). The team said the country has made progress in the development of arrangements to detect and respond to criminal or intentional unauthorised acts involving MORC. It encouraged Georgia to continue to develop these arrangements and their associated plans and procedures, and identified several examples of good practice in this area of nuclear security.

The mission, carried out at the request of the Government of Georgia, took place from 24 April to 5 May and involved a team of eight international experts from France, Greece, Jordan, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam, and one IAEA staff member.

INSServ missions aim to help States to better prevent, detect and respond to criminal and intentional unauthorized acts involving nuclear or other radioactive material which are lost, missing, stolen, improperly disposed of, or not adequately stored or handled. These cases are known as material out of regulatory control or MORC.

The mission aimed to review the current state of nuclear security in relation to MORC in Georgia and provide recommendations on how to strengthen it in accordance with international guidance and best practices. The team conducted a series of meetings with officials from the Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety (ANRS), State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG), Georgia Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA), and the Customs Department of Revenue Service of Georgia. The team also visited sea ports, border crossing points and the Tbilisi airport to assess the detection and response measures in place. 

“The team provided concrete recommendations to Georgia’s national authorities to further develop the State’s nuclear security strategy and enhance the nuclear security detection and response systems and measures relevant to MORC, as part of the national detection architecture and response framework,” said Theodoros Matikas, Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Ioannina in Greece, who led the mission.

The team’s recommendations to Georgia to enhance its existing detection and response capabilities included the continued development of training and exercising programmes for front-line officers and the enhancement of existing nuclear forensics capabilities to support criminal investigations. Several good practices were identified, including the existence of clear, coordinated multi-agency arrangements at the national level for detection and response of nuclear security events with involvement of MORC, and the existence of strong international cooperation to support its nuclear security activities.   

"We commend Georgia for its commitment to nuclear security and we stand ready to provide continued support as they work to implement the recommendations of the IAEA INSServ mission," said Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security.

The IAEA's INSServ mission is part of its 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 nuclear terrorism and other malicious acts involving MORC.

"This is the first time that Georgia has hosted an INSServ mission and we would like to express our gratitude to IAEA for accepting our request,” said Vasil Gedevanishvili, Head of ANRS. “Acknowledging the critical importance of a sound national nuclear security regime, we are committed to implement the recommendations and suggestions, which are the result of thorough analysis and hard work of the distinguished experts. We appreciate the efforts of the INSServ team and look forward to further cooperation.”

The draft findings and recommendations were presented to the Government of Georgia, and the final report will be presented in about three months’ time.


The mission was the 85th 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