National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA participates in international conference on physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities

November 27, 2017

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Art Atkins, assistant deputy administrator for NNSA’s Office of Global Material Security delivers remarks during the main panel session on International Cooperation on the final day of the Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities.

Representatives from NNSA participated in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities this month in Vienna.

The conference promoted the entry into force of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM). The IAEA serves as a central coordinator of the CPPNM.

Art Atkins, assistant deputy administrator for NNSA’s Office of Global Material Security tests out virtual reality training modules at the Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities.“As long as nuclear materials exist they require our collective commitment to their protection” said Art Atkins, assistant deputy administrator for NNSA’s Office of Global Material Security. “All countries, even those without nuclear material, have a stake in our global nuclear security architecture.”

The CPPNM is the only legally binding international instrument that covers physical protection of nuclear material, with a focus on international transport. The Amendment to the CPPNM, which entered into force in May 2016, expanded its mandate to cover protection of nuclear facilities and nuclear material in domestic use, storage, and transport.

The conference fostered discussion of practices and experiences related to the physical protection of nuclear material and facilities among government representatives, facility operators, shippers and carriers, and technical support organizations, with the aim of supporting and strengthening the global nuclear security architecture.  

Technical experts from the U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise shared experiences of developing frameworks for the physical protection of nuclear facilities and material. Topics of discussion included security regulations during transport, cyber protection, and techniques to assess the effectiveness of physical protection systems.

The IAEA helps its members implement recommendations through expert missions, workshops, and training courses.

NNSA lab personnel walk a conference participant through cyber security virtual reality scenarios in between technical sessions at the Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities.