Row of participants at the side event.
NNSA held a side event at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Conference on Nuclear Law. It focused on leveraging the criteria in a key convention to support effective nuclear security regulation.

Earlier this month, NNSA’s Office of International Nuclear Security hosted an event at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s First Conference on Nuclear Law in support of assessing and identifying gaps in the implementation the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

Whether a country has nuclear power programs, conducts limited nuclear activities, or only uses radioactive material, the Amendment is beneficial to all States, and helps reduce the likelihood of malicious acts involving nuclear material.

Art Atkins
NNSA's Assistant Deputy Administrator for Global Material Security

INS partners with both countries that have nuclear facilities and those that are embarking on nuclear programs to provide expertise in establishing tailored and sustainable national, legislative, and regulatory frameworks to govern nuclear security. 

The event included approximately 30 participants.

“Whether a country has nuclear power programs, conducts limited nuclear activities, or only uses radioactive material, the Amendment is beneficial to all States, and helps reduce the likelihood of malicious acts involving nuclear material,” said Art Atkins, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Global Material Security.

The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment are the primary legally binding international instruments related to the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities. The Amendment is critical to the development of an international legal framework for nuclear security. It fills gaps in the international regime by setting obligations for the physical protection of nuclear material for peaceful purposes in domestic use, storage, and transport.

The INS event was a forum to discuss how leveraging the criteria outlined in the Amendment could support effective nuclear security regulation and meet a State’s commitments the Convention. During the event, experts demonstrated the INS-developed Criteria Based-Approach Tool that supports the first stage in implementation. The informal, web-based tool asks multiple-choice questions that align with key provisions in the Amendment.

This event emphasizes the importance of the Amendment as a cornerstone of the global nuclear security regime and provides a way to assist with the development of national laws and regulations for sustaining nuclear security practices worldwide. NNSA collaborates with countries on regulatory development, peer-reviewing regulatory documents, and inspections support to ensure legal and regulatory best practices and adherence to international nuclear security instruments.