Public events security

The organization of a major public event, such as a sporting event or high-level political meeting, presents unique security challenges, including possible threats involving nuclear or other radioactive material. Upon request, the IAEA provides assistance to States  in the form of detection equipment, staff training and information. 

Nuclear security threats have the potential of severe health, social, psychological, economic, political and environmental consequences. They could include such scenarios as the dispersal of nuclear or other radioactive material in public places; the intentional placement of radioactive material in public places; and, although the likelihood of this is much lower, the possibility of a nuclear weapon being produced.

Adding nuclear security measures to traditional arrangements for the organization of a major public event is a complex task that requires a high degree of planning and coordination. Different national authorities and institutes need to work together, sharing information on the illicit movement of nuclear and radioactive material and actively monitoring the flow of persons and goods for radiation sources. They also need to train front line officers in the use of radiation detection instruments and pass on knowledge to them of how to respond to radiological incidents.

The complexity of these tasks requires the establishment of coordination bodies and the conduct of preparatory exercises. Several States hosting major public events have requested assistance from the IAEA for implementing strategies and concepts to deal with nuclear security threats. The IAEA not only provides to States, upon request, necessary detection equipment but also organizes training for security staff and facilitates peer-based sharing of knowledge and expertise.

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