For many years, Ukraine has been cooperating with the IAEA regarding incidents involving the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials, successfully developing a system of border radiation monitoring and introducing standards of nuclear security culture at all levels with international support. Compliance with radiation safety rules means using all the possibilities to protect nuclear and other radioactive materials in order to avoid their being in illegal traffic.
From March 18 to March 21, a visit by experts from the IAEA nuclear security department took place in Kiev to develop a draft Ukrainian Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan (INSSP, hereinafter – the Plan). The authorized person on the IPSNS for Ukraine, Madalina Man, and authorized nuclear security officers, Ann McQuade and Abdul Shakur, worked jointly with the Ukrainian specialists to create the Plan. At the invitation of the IAEA, an expert in the field of release from regulatory control, a representative of the State Security Service of Georgia, David Makharadze, as well as an expert on the safety of the use, storage and transportation of radioactive materials from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, Sorin Pudroshi shared their experiences with their Ukrainian colleagues.
During the meeting of the working group, an assessment of the threats and risks to the system of physical protection of nuclear materials and nuclear facilities was carried out, and the level of protection during the transportation of nuclear and other radioactive materials was analyzed. The Plan will take into account the three main areas of work for the prevention, detection and timely response to attempts of unlawful access to and removal of radioactive materials. The Plan will include such sections as improving the legislative and regulatory framework, measures to prevent, detect and respond to events in the field of nuclear security to ensure nuclear security and operational nuclear safety. Important experts identified actions to ensure cyber security and information security of radiation hazardous facilities, as well as related infrastructure and counter the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials.
As Viktor Pashchenko, Deputy Head of the Directorate for Nuclear Security and Safeguards, State Inspector of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine explains: “The Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan is a list of activities that should be introduced by all entities and participants of the State system of physical protection, operators, licensees to achieve the primary goal of physical protection, which is defined in the Law of Ukraine. We must create the conditions to minimize the possibility of sabotage, theft or any other unlawful seizure of radioactive materials. It is necessary to maximally promote the implementation of measures for the search for and return of missing nuclear materials, radioactive waste and other sources of ionizing radiation.” After approval of the Plan by all participants of the meeting, the IAEA experts within a month will develop a more detailed “action plan” with the definition of targeted activities, deadlines for their implementation, as well as responsible organizations for each task according to the Plan.
Representatives of the regulatory bodies of Norway and Sweden – Taras Bobrovsky and Zlatan Delalic, and a representative of the Threat Reduction Program, implemented in Ukraine with the help of the Radiation Safety Authority of the US Department of Energy, Igor Danilov also took part in the work on the Plan.
According to the Plan, Ukrainian specialists together with IAEA experts will conduct an analysis of the national regulatory framework on nuclear security to eliminate gaps, flaws and contradictions, determine roles and assign responsibilities of the responsible state authorities in ensuring nuclear security and physical protection in Ukraine.
During the discussion, it was decided to navigate a series of trainings to create a Ukrainian base of trainers for conducting courses on nuclear security and physical protection at the George Kuzmycz Training Center of the Institute for Nuclear Research, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
There also be conducted exercises to determine the readiness of physical protection systems for counter-actions related to threats to nuclear installations and nuclear materials, namely counter-actions against the use of drones, cyber attacks of both internal and external nature. In order to increase security at the border and during mass events, training for border guards should be continued with the involvement of police representatives at the training center of the State Border Service of Ukraine.
In her speech, the authorized person for nuclear security from the IAEA department for exemption from regulatory control – Ann McQuaid, stressed that Ukraine has a very developed nuclear security regime and is one of the most developed countries in the world in the field of nuclear security and radiation safety: “In Ukraine there is a lot of expertise, f lot of resources, specifically human resources that can be used to help other less experienced countries with their issues similar to which Ukraine has overcome.”
On the initiative of the SNRCU, after the approval of the Plan, it is necessary to hold a seminar to discuss the points of the plan and actions for its implementation at the all-Ukrainian level. The plan was developed for three years – from 2019 to 2021.
The event was attended by representatives of SNRCU, SSTC NRS, Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, Energoatom NAEK, GAZO, Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology, State Border Service of Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine, National Police, National Guard of Ukraine, George Kuzmycz Training Center , SFSU Training Center, Ministry of Internal Affairs.
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