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Nuclear Security for Research Reactors and Associated Facilities (RRAFs) (J02006)


The objective of the Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on “Nuclear Security for Research Reactors and Associated Facilities (RRAFs)” is to simplify the process for and enhance the effectiveness of nuclear security programmes to reduce the risk of theft of nuclear and/or other radioactive materials and sabotage at RRAFs. Research reactors, due to their diverse objectives, settings, funding arrangements, and staffing present a particular set of challenges to the implementation and maintenance of an effective nuclear security programme. As it is critical to ensure a robust security programme, the IAEA and its Member States have recognized the importance of enhancing security at RRAFs.
The International Workshop on the “Interface Between Safety and Security” of Research Reactors, 7–10 October 2013, IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, recommended to the Agency to develop guidance on the categorization of safety and security risk on RRAFs in a harmonized manner.

This CRP includes the following activities:

  1. Review the assessment methodologies for regulated facilities developed by the NUSAM CRP in relation to RRAFs and develop case studies for RRAFs.
  2. Identify factors for developing a comprehensive normalised ranking scheme for security risk posed by nuclear and radioactive materials while considering the unique characteristics of RRAFs.
  3. Identify and assess open source data to develop a general threat basis statement for RRAFs.
  4. Identify and assess available computer-based analytical tools, technical suitability, to evaluate dispersal consequences due to the introduction of external energy to be used by non-security experts.
  5. Identify and assess available databases for evaluating the performance effectiveness of nuclear security of RRAFs.

The output of the CRP will include developing case study/ies, methodology to normalise attractiveness risk factors, threat basis statement, methodologies and analytical tools to evaluate dispersal consequence, and database to support effectiveness evaluation to be used in enhancing nuclear security systems. The results from the CRP will be shared with IAEA Member States to enhance nuclear security at RRAFs.
IAEA and its Member States will also use the CRP results to develop and/or enhance training and guidance materials. This CRP is the first IAEA research programme for RRAFs nuclear security.

The project is open to institutes in IAEA and its Member States that would undertake technical activities towards the objective of the CRP. The CRP will create an environment for sharing and transfer of knowledge and experience, and provide guidance and practical examples of good practice in enhancing nuclear security at RRAFs.
The CRP will be initiated in 2015 and expected to be completed in 2018.