International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS)

Physical protection against the theft, sabotage or unauthorized use of nuclear material has become a matter of strong national and international concern. IPPAS was created to assist States, upon request, in strengthening their national physical protection regimes.

IPPAS, created by the IAEA in 1995, provides peer advice on implementing international instruments and Agency guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material, associated facilities and associated activities.

An IPPAS mission is an assessment of the existing practices in a State, in the light of relevant international instruments and IAEA nuclear security publications, and an exchange of experience and accepted international practices aimed at strengthening the nuclear security organization, procedures and practices being followed by a State. This assessment includes a national level review of the legal and regulatory framework and security measures and procedures in place to execute this framework at facilities and during transport.

IPPAS is conducted by a team of international nuclear security experts, who use their own extensive experience and international guidance to suggest improvements to the national nuclear security regime. Conclusions are made by consensus on the basis of combined expertise of the international team.

The findings of IPPAS missions are reflected in mission reports, which are treated by the IAEA as highly confidential information. An essential feature of this advisory service is that, upon request, IAEA follow-up assistance can be made available, such as training, technical support and more targeted assessments of various elements of a State’s national nuclear security regime.