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Denial of Shipment Meetings


During the period 22 - 26 February 2010, the IAEA hosted a series of Consultancy and Technical Meetings focussing on the Denial of Shipment of Radioactive Material. These meetings brought together regulators, members of industry and other International Organizations to discuss the issue of Denial of Shipment, evaluate previous action taken and to provide guidance and training to assist in the reduction of denial occurrences.

The schedule of meetings was:

  • Five separate consultancy meetings, one for each group of regional coordinators (Monday to Friday)
  • The 1st Meeting of National Focal Points on Denial of Shipment of Radioactive Material (Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • The 5th International Steering Committee on Denial of Shipment of Radioactive Material (Thursday and Friday)

The structure of the week was designed to emulate the reality of the work of the networks, with the regional coordinators providing the bridge between the national focal points and the international steering committee.

This series of meetings marks five years of progress, and offered the opportunity to review the current status and way forward. National focal points and regional coordinators reviewed their roles and responsibilities and provided an agreed update.

The structure of the committees and networks was reviewed and a more cohesive approach was recommended, with a skeleton made up of the national, regional and international government nominated representatives. This skeleton was fleshed out by adding other representatives from transport industry, suppliers and other relevant bodies. It was recognised that there was a need for cooperation between all involved and that a diversity of participants was essential to fulfil all of the required actions.


A number of items from the action plan on denial of shipment were delivered during the past year, and these were presented to the meetings:

  • The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) presented an e-learning package which would be freely available
  • A web based resource pool of material of use in training was presented by IAEA, including folders with documents in different UN languages;
    44 draft training modules targeted at specific audiences
  • The IMO database has been analysed by IAEA to allow targeted application of resources
  • An outline toolkit has been produced by IAEA
  • A communication campaign has been initiated
  • Draft handbooks for National Focal Points and Regional Coordinators have been produced
  • Route mapping software has been produced by the UK (this includes analysis of the added carbon emissions caused by extended shipping routes)
  • National focal points were trained in reporting denials and in responding to denials

The training in how to respond to denial was particularly successful; it involved a role play of different regions and different participants. The role play was based on realistic information. The resulting emphasis on the need for clear accurate information which is communicated between all key stakeholders was an important lesson.

Some National Focal points expressed concern that they could not be seen to criticise national regulations. This resulted the decision was taken that the IAEA Secretariat should be notified where any person has concern that regulatory requirements should lead to denial. The Secretariat would then take this up with the Member State concerned. Any request in this respect should be made to the address below.

A target was proposed and agreed, to reduce the occurrence of delay and denial to a level not worthy of reporting by the time of the IAEA General Conference in 2013. This is an aggressive timescale, and the meetings noted that it would require urgent action to increase the number of national focal points, and to identify resources to deliver actions.

In response to the delivery of many of the tools required for the Denial Networks to function, and the urgency required to deliver success by 2013 it was decided to review the action plan. Many actions have been completed, and many items which were initially identified as actions have now become part of normal procedure (and are included in the handbooks). This review creates an action plan that is focused on strategic deliveries which will provide the tools to combat denials.

Overall the week of meetings was a success. The UK chair of the International Steering Committee arranged for the UK Governor to report to the board on the outcome of the meeting, and this was received with interest. By using the database to identify “hot zones” where there are multiple reports of denial, and producing targeted action plans for each, it is expected that the maximum progress will be made with the limited resources available. It is expected that communication and training will form the primary response to the denials reported. The year 2010 is a year where action is required.

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| Last update: Tuesday, 09 December, 2014.