Nuclear Security Detection Architecture

The nuclear security detection architecture (NSDA) is an integrated set of nuclear security systems and measures based on an appropriate legal and regulatory framework. The objective of the NSDA is to detect criminal and intentional unauthorized acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material.

The threat of nuclear terrorism is as a matter of concern, and the risk that nuclear material or other radioactive material may be used in criminal or intentional unauthorized acts represents a serious threat to national and international security, with potentially serious consequences for people, property and the environment.

The responsibility for nuclear security within a State rests entirely with that State, however addressing the nuclear terrorism threat also requires international cooperation. Member States have consistently acknowledged the IAEA’s central role in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally and in coordinating international cooperation in nuclear security activities.

The IAEA assists States, upon request, to fulfil their responsibilities to detect criminal and intentional unauthorized acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material. The assistance includes:

  • develop guidance, including within the Nuclear Security Series;
  • assist in implementing the guidance including through the training and workshops on strategies, operations, human resource development and sustainability;
  • conduct, upon request by Member States, advisory services, such as expert mission and International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ);
  • donate radiation detection equipment and conduct associated training for their use and maintenance; and
  • promote international and regional cooperation and networking.

The International Network of Front Line Officers and Organizations for Nuclear Security Detection (FLO Network) provides a platform for Front Line Officers and their organizations to contribute to global efforts to develop, enhance, and sustain nuclear security detection architectures as well as to ensure effective detection systems and measures.

Further, to coordinate the assistance provided to States the IAEA collaborates with other international organizations and initiatives, such as the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Border Monitoring Working Group (BMWG) and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT).

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