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Prevention of Malicious Acts

Meeting Announcement

IAEA Technical Meeting on Newly Arising Threats in Cybersecurity of Nuclear Facilities, 16 – 20 May, 2011 in Vienna... read more

Prevention is the first line of defence against nuclear terrorism.

Prevention includes measures to protect nuclear and other radioactive materials against theft or other form of loss of control, illegal possession, smuggling, and unauthorized use, as well as measures to protect nuclear installations and transport against sabotage and other malicious acts that can result in radiation exposure to the general public or the environment.

The Agency's activities to assist States' prevention capabilities include advisory and evaluation missions, education and training, the development of methodology and a nuclear security framework, support for international legal instruments, and technical upgrades and advice.

Enhancing a security culture

The International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ) aims to identify broad nuclear security needs in a country with the objective of identifying further areas of cooperation and assistance. INSServ missions generate recommendations which provide the platform for subsequent nuclear security assistance.

Physical protection

The International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) reviews a country’s system of physical protection of its nuclear and other radioactive material and nuclear facilities – both at the national level (infrastructure, legislation, competent authority’s regulatory role, and inspection and enforcement) and at the facility level – for implementation of physical protection measures.

Security of sources: accountancy

Reliable accounting for and control of nuclear material is fundamental for States’ ability to fulfil their international nuclear non-proliferation obligations. At the same time effective State Systems for Material Accountancy and Control (SSAC) are also essential for maintaining the security of nuclear material and combating illicit trafficking.

To assist in strengthening their SSACs, the Agency has provided direct assistance to Member States including technical advice, training and other guidance at both the State and facility levels. The IAEA International SSAC Advisory Service (ISSAS) mission reviews SSACs to provide suggestions on improvements that could be made to their systems.

Security of sources: physical protection

INFCIRC/225/Rev. 4 is the principal source for international guidelines relevant to the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear installations. As part of building a nuclear security framework, work is ongoing on the development of additional guidelines and recommendations. The Agency has recently published a Nuclear Security Series of Documents to provide a coherent and integral framework for documents related to nuclear security.

In addition, the Agency assists Member States to enhance security of radioactive sources, and in the development of National Strategies for Regaining Control over Radioactive Sources. A curriculum for an IAEA training course on the security of radioactive sources has been developed. Read more about the Agency’s activities to strengthen the security of radioactive sources.

The security of research reactors and their associated facilities is of increasing international concern. Accordingly, the Agency has developed an Integrated Plan for Enhancing the Security or Research Reactors and their associated facilities.

Training, seminars and workshops

Education and training are essential elements of any preventive measures. They contribute to the sustainability of human resources capabilities, which is tasked with the maintenance and enhancement of the States’ nuclear security systems. The Agency conducts a range of training activities relevant to prevention, including physical protection training courses, Design Basis Threat (DBT) workshops, and SSAC training courses and workshops. IAEA implements a training strategy based on a tiered approach, with international, regional or national settings depending on the topic and target audience.

Legal Instruments

A number of international legal instruments relevant to enhancing nuclear security require improvements in order to meet new challenges. Process is ongoing to strengthen the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). The Code of Conduct of the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources has been revised to reflect enhanced needs for the security of radioactive sources. Read more about the Agency’s work to improve adherence to international legal instruments.

IAEA Technical Meeting on Newly Arising Threats in Cybersecurity of Nuclear Facilities

The Division of Nuclear Security (NSNS), the Division of Nuclear Power (NENP) and the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety (NSNI) are jointly organizing a Technical Meeting to help shape IAEA’s response to Member States’ concerns regarding newly arising threats to nuclear power plants in the field of cybersecurity. More than 30 Member States and observers from 6 International and regional organisations will participate in the Technical Meeting to be held at the IAEA headquarters on 16 – 20 May in Vienna, Austria.

The purpose of the Technical Meeting will be to discuss and analyse current and foreseeable cyber threats and their relevant and possible impact to the security, safety and operations of nuclear power plants. The meeting will examine existing IAEA and industry guidance and the availability of the best practices specific to the nuclear industry and the scope for extending the coverage of IAEA guidance. The meeting will also help the IAEA plot the course and the scope of its present and future activities in the field of cybersecurity to respond to the needs of its Member States and will form the basis for future meetings dealing with specific cybersecurity issues. The first day’s plenary session will look at cybersecurity at large and ensure that there is a common understanding of the goals and current status quo. Subsequently, the meeting will be divided into sessions. The meeting will convene in a plenary session in the afternoon of the fourth day to prepare a consensus response to current concerns. agenda; information sheet


| Last update: Thursday, 25 August, 2016.