Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis

Case studies of crises that impact nuclear security provide important opportunities to learn and build resilience into nuclear facilities and organizations

While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted nuclear facilities, it is not the first crisis to do so. The “Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis” handbook draws lessons learned from four case studies that examine what happens to nuclear security during emergencies. Each case varies in terms of cause, scale, and duration, while the lessons are broadly applicable to nuclear facilities and regulatory bodies. Each case identifies steps taken to protect nuclear facilities and identifies areas for improvement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges to the implementation of nuclear security. Nuclear operators and regulators have had to quickly adapt to changes in the work environment, including moving to online operations and remote inspections. While the scale of this crisis is unprecedented, historical case studies of broader crises – political, economic, social, and natural disasters – can highlight key lessons for current and future crises. The Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis handbook draws broader lessons learned from four historical case studies of nuclear security under pressure, providing recommendations on how to build a resilient nuclear security system.

The “Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis” handbook is the culmination of collaboration with the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London.

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