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IAEA Mission to Sudan Finds Improved Nuclear Security Infrastructure, Encourages Strengthening of Nuclear Security Detection and Response

Khartoum, Sudan

The INSServ team visited the Sudan Police General Administration of Forensic Evidence as part of the technical visits included in the 10-day mission to Sudan. (Photo: Fei Liu/IAEA)

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team said Sudan had strengthened its national nuclear security regime by implementing extensive nuclear security systems and measures in relation to materials out of regulatory control. The team, which this week concluded a nuclear security mission to the country, encouraged Sudan to further enhance its relevant nuclear security detection and response systems.  

The first International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ) to the country, conducted from 27 November to 7 December, was carried out at the request of the Government of Sudan and hosted by the Sudanese Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (SNRRA), the country’s regulatory body for radiological activities, located in the capital Khartoum.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said: “Sudan’s invitation to the IAEA to conduct the first INSServ mission in the country shows its commitment to improve the national nuclear security infrastructure. Effective national arrangements for the detection of nuclear materials out of regulatory control — whether lost, missing or stolen — are imperative to strengthen the global nuclear security framework.”

His Excellency Osman Hussein, Prime Minister of Sudan, said: “Sudan requested a complete INSServ mission to help our country in evaluating its overall nuclear security framework. We were very glad to receive the recommendations and suggestions from the mission’s distinguished independent experts, so that we can improve our nuclear security regime and enhance cooperation between Sudan and the IAEA.” 

INSServ missions focus on nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control (MORC), which can be a result of theft, improper disposal or negligence. The mission team reviewed Sudan’s nuclear security systems and related measures for MORC, including detection and response. Particular topics of focus were roles and responsibilities of competent authorities, sustainability of detection systems and measures, and nuclear forensics.

Sudan uses radioactive sources in an increasing number of applications in medicine, agriculture, industry, and research and education and hundreds of radioactive sources are transported around the country and/or pass through Khartoum International Airport every year. Sudan is also considering the introduction of nuclear power in its energy mix.  

The team, comprising eight senior international experts from Bulgaria, Georgia, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United States of America, as well as an IAEA staff member, made recommendations to Sudan, including to further strengthen the national nuclear security detection and response systems and measures related to MORC. Among the good practices noted is that the SNRRA had concluded 11 memoranda of understanding with other national organizations related to cooperation and coordination in nuclear security in terms of technical support, human resources, and scientific research. The team also commended Sudan for establishing dedicated nuclear security units within law enforcement and security agencies.

During the mission, the team conducted interviews with management and staff from SNRRA, General Intelligence Service (GIS), Military Intelligence, Sudan Police General Administration of Forensic Evidence, Institute of Forensics Evidence, Sudan Customs Authority, Civil Aviation Authority and Seaport Corporation. In Khartoum, the team conducted site visits to the SNRRA, General Intelligence Service, Sudan Customs Authority, Khartoum International Airport and the Sudan Police General Administration of Forensics Evidence. The team also visited the Seaport Corporation, Sudan Customs Authority Red Sea Department and the South Seaport in Port Sudan on the Red Sea, 800 km northeast of the capital.

“Sudan has in place a legal and regulatory framework that includes an independent regulatory body and a high-level Nuclear Security Committee, coordinating national nuclear security issues in cooperation with national stakeholders,” said Khammar Mrabit, team leader of the mission and former Director General, Moroccan Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security (AMSSNuR) and Member of the Moroccan Parliament. “The team provided concrete recommendations to the national authorities to further strengthen nuclear security systems and measures relevant to MORC, as part of the nuclear security detection architecture and response framework.”


The mission was the 83rd INSServ mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 2006.

INSServ missions, based on the INSServ guidelines published in 2019, are intended to 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.

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