Maintaining Nuclear Safety and Security During the COVID-19 Crisis

Many nuclear establishments had planned against the possibility of an epidemic, but very likely the severity of the current crisis is beyond what was imagined
By Nickolas Roth Co-author

This article was originally published in Russia Matters

Every major industry on earth is struggling to adapt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes nuclear facilities and nuclear-powered vessels, which count among the critical infrastructure of dozens of nations now struggling with the pandemic, representing more than half the world’s population. Meanwhile, ISIS has already announced its intent to exploit the pandemic while a number of other violent extremist organizations are also taking pains to exploit the crisis. Without implementing extraordinary measures to maintain safety and security, nuclear installations risk compounding the crisis with a large-scale radiation release. 

How are nuclear organizations coping with the COVID-19 crisis and what strategies seem to be among the best practices to ensure the safety and security of their operations? Responses have varied around the world, and we are still in the early days of the crisis, but already some lessons may be inferred. Moreover, nuclear power plants are only one realm of nuclear activity, which also includes fuel and waste production and disposal, as well as weapons establishments.

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