Nonproliferation
Project Note

Nuclear Security News and Member Updates Roundup, June 2021

In June, the first HALEU facility in the United States was licensed and Belarus prepares for an IAEA IPPAS mission.

Dear INSF Members, 

One of the most important elements of the International Nuclear Security Forum’s mission is that we strive to foster a community where members can discuss critical nuclear security issues and collaborate when needed. In recent weeks, we’ve seen examples of the strength of this community with conversations about Iranian nuclear security and about the possibility of nuclear smuggling in India. Over the next few months, we will be focusing on collaborative projects with INSF members.  In the coming days, we will ask members about what nuclear security issues you are working on and about your most ambitious ideas for strengthening international nuclear security. This information will then be published in two separate reports.  We look forward to hearing from all of you about your great work! 

Best, 

Nickolas Roth and Becca Earnhardt
International Nuclear Security Forum 

Join the conversation on Twitter: @INS_Forum 

Announcements 

  • Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis: The Stimson Center and the Centre of Science and Security Studies at King’s College London published a handbook “Nuclear Security in Times of Crisis” that examines how ‘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.  
  • Country Update: United Kingdom, July 7, 12:00PM-1:00PM EDT: We are proud to host our next country update describing how the United Kingdom’s nuclear security has evolved, featuring nuclear security expert Professor Christopher Hobbs (King’s College London) on July 7, 12:00PM-1:00PM EDT. This presentation will explore the United Kingdom’s approach to nuclear security, focusing on its evolving regulatory system, efforts to strengthen security culture within industry and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A question-and-answer session will immediately follow the presentation. Make sure to RSVP

Nuclear Security News 

Global Architecture  

  • Saudi, UAE Nuclear Regulators Share Expertise: “Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Commission and the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation concluded the first bilateral cooperation initiative in the nuclear regulatory industry.” 
  • IAEA Completes Nuclear Security Advisory Mission in Niger: “The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission included reviews of the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of radioactive material, regulatory practices (licensing, inspections and enforcement) and coordination between organizations and stakeholders involved in nuclear security.”  
  • IAEA Director General’s Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors: An excerpt from Director General Grossi’s statement: “The Agency commemorated the 5th anniversary of the entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material on 8 May. I urge Member States that have not already done so to join this Convention and the Amendment thereto, thereby contributing to global efforts to strengthen nuclear security.” 
  • Russia Strengthens Legal Basis for Regulation of Security in Defense Nuclear Complex: “The amendments explicitly defined the applicability of legislation regulating oversight in other domains to oversight of safety and security in the defense nuclear complex.”  
  • Ukraine Opens Training Center for NPPS’ Protective Force with U.S. Funding: “On June 2, 2021, in the city of Varash – a satellite city of the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant in Western Ukraine – Ukrainian National Guard opened a new “Sarmat” facility to provide additional training to the guards protecting the nation’s NPPs.” “It includes mock-ups of hostages and adversaries, which can “fire” at the trainees. The facilitу is equipped with action cameras, a reconnaissance drone, equipment imitating the first aid and counter-sniper system.” 
  • IAEA’s IPPAS Mission Expected to Visit Belarus Soon: “Belarus intends to welcome the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission soon, BelTA learned from Olga Lugovskaya, Head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), on 10 Jun.” 
  • IAEA Reviews Progress of Kenya’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development: “Kenya has made progress in implementing the recommendations of an earlier IAEA nuclear infrastructure review mission, a team of IAEA and international experts said [June 11].” “The follow-up Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review mission took place from 8 to 11 June 2021. It assessed the country’s progress on recommendations from an INIR mission conducted in 2015.” 
  • IAEA Assesses Uzbekistan’s Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development: “An [IAEA] team of experts has concluded a 12-day mission to Uzbekistan to review its development of infrastructure for a nuclear power programme [Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR)].” “The INIR team concluded the country’s nuclear power programme benefits from strong governmental support and shows a clear commitment to safety, security and non-proliferation. The team added that Uzbekistan has made significant progress in the nuclear power plant project development and taken steps to enhance its legal and regulatory framework and strengthen the regulatory body.”

Security Culture 

Emerging Technologies 

Advanced Reactors 

  • China Approves Construction of Demonstration SMR: “The construction of a demonstration ACP100 small modular reactor at Changjiang in Hainan province has been approved by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.” “It did not say when construction of the demonstration ACP100 is scheduled to begin, nor when it is due to be commissioned.” 
  • Centrus Becomes First U.S. Licensed HALEU Production Facility: “The US Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy said on 23 June that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission had approved Centrus Energy’s request to make high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel (HALEU) at its enrichment facility in Piketon, Ohio. The plant is now the only licensed HALEU production facility in the USA.”  
  • Rosatom Sets up Training Programmes on Fast Reactors for European and Chinese Specialists: “Rosatom and three leading Russian universities have united in a scientific consortium that will design educational programmes to train specialists from European countries and China, working on new generation reactors, or fast neutron reactors.” 
  • Companies and Government Agencies Propose Nuclear Reactors for Space: “In 2018 at the Nevada National Security Site, scientists finished tests of the first new US nuclear reactor design in about 40 years. That new device wasn’t a typical reactor. Called Kilopower, it was meant not for use on Earth but for use in space.” 

Weapons, Materials, and Facilities 

  • Rosatom to Supply Brazil with Key Medical Isotopes: “Isotop JSC (part of Rusatom Healthcare, Rosatom’s radiation technologies integrator) on 9 June signed a five-year contract with Brazil’s Nuclear and Energy Research Institute to supply medical isotopes lutetium-177 and actinium-225.” 
  • France Reaches Deal to Send Back Nuclear Waste to Germany: “France will send Germany’s remaining nuclear waste back to its neighbour by 2024 under a deal between the countries, the two governments said Thursday.” “The train convoys were the target of protests and disruptions by environmental activists, requiring large police deployments.” 
  • As Japan Reboots Ageing Mihama Nuclear Reactor, Experts Express Concern: “The head of a major inquiry into Japan’s nuclear disaster and a former senior Cabinet adviser have sounded alarms over plans this week to restart a 44-year-old reactor, saying the industry and government have not taken on board the lessons from Fukushima.”  

Crisis and Recovery Operations 

Threats 

Member Organization Announcements and Updates 

The Centre of Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London  

CRDF Global 

  • CRDF Global hosted a Thought Leadership Series webinar “Promoting Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy” featuring Ambassador Laura Holgate and Dr. Randy Beatty. Watch a recording of the event

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) 

  • Dr. William C. Potter was awarded the Therese Delpech Memorial Award for exceptional service to the nongovernmental nuclear policy community. It was presented on June 23 at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference. Watch Dr. Potter’s acceptance speech

Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) 

  • Dr. Alan Kuperman penned a letter to the Government of the United Kingdom “to ask what steps the UK is taking to minimize its own use of HEU [highly-enriched uranium] as fuel for Navy propulsion reactors.” Read the letter from Dr. Kuperman and review the message from the UK government that prompted Dr. Kuperman’s letter.  

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) 

  • NTI published a new report “U.S. Nuclear Policies for a Safer World” that “outline[s] recommendations for changes to U.S. nuclear policy and posture and engagement with Russia and China.” Read the report.  
  • NTI is now accepting applications for its Fall 2021 paid internship program. The deadline to apply is Monday, July 5

The Stimson Center 

The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) 

  • On 12 May 2021, the VCDNP, in collaboration with the German government, held a virtual workshop to discuss the sustainable use of nuclear technology in industrial applications and food safety, commensurate nuclear security measures, and the assistance provided by the IAEA in this regard. Find more information on the workshop, including speakers’ presentations. 

The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) 

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