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IAEA Nuclear Security Series

Nuclear security issues relating to the prevention and detection of, and response to, theft, sabotage, unauthorized access and illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material and other radioactive substances and their associated facilities are addressed in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series publications. These publications are consistent with, and complement, international nuclear security instruments such as the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment, the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, the Supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources, the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1373 and 1540 and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

Categories in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series

Publications in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series are issued in the following categories:

  • Nuclear Security Fundamentals specify the objective of a State's nuclear security regime and the essential elements of such a regime. These provide the basis for the Nuclear Security Recommendations
  • Nuclear Security Recommendations publications set out measures that States should take to achieve and maintain an effective national nuclear security regime consistent with the Fundamentals
  • Implementing Guides provide guidance on means by which States could implement the measures set out in the Recommendations. As such, they focus on how to meet the Recommendations relating to broad areas of nuclear security
  • Technical Guidance publications provide guidance on specific technical subjects to supplement the guidance set out in Implementing Guides. As such, they focus on details of how to carry out the necessary measures

Nuclear Security Series Glossary

The Nuclear Security Series Glossary is a compilation of the terms and definitions used in guidance publications issued to date in the Nuclear Security Series. At present, its primary purpose is as a working document for drafters and technical officers preparing future publications in this Series, and reviewers considering drafts of such publications, to ensure that terminology and usage is consistent with existing publications. As such , it will be updated as further Nuclear Security Series publications are issued.

In the longer term, it will also be used, in consultation with the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee and subject matter experts, as a basis for refining terminology and definitions where necessary to help further improve the clarity, consistency and coherence of the IAEA's nuclear security guidance. With this in mind, it is being made available to a wider audience for comment.

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Drafting and review

The preparation and review of Nuclear Security Series publications involves the IAEA Secretariat, experts from Member States (who assist the IAEA Secretariat in drafting the publications) and the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC), which reviews and approves draft publications. Where appropriate, open-ended technical meetings are also held during drafting to provide an opportunity for specialists from Member States and relevant international organizations to review and discuss the draft text. In addition, to ensure a high level of international review and consensus, the Secretariat submits the draft texts to all Member States for a period of 120 days for formal review.

The process for drafting and reviewing publications in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series takes account of confidentiality considerations and recognizes that nuclear security is inseparably linked with general and specific national security concerns. An underlying consideration is that related IAEA safety standards and safeguards activities should be taken into account in the technical content of the publications.

Nuclear Security Guidance Committee

The Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC) is a standing body of senior representatives in the area of nuclear security, open to all Member States of the Agency. It was established by the Director General in 2012 to make recommendations to the Agency on the development and review of the Nuclear Security Series publications. The objective is to significantly contribute to greater transparency, consensus, quality, coherence and consistency by engaging more Member States in the development of international publications for nuclear security.

  • All IAEA Member States have been invited to nominate a member of NSGC, and members are expected to represent the views of their State
  • Relevant international organizations and relevant non-governmental bodies may be invited to attend NSGC meetings as observers


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| Last update: Thursday, August 28, 2014.