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!
Nickolas Roth and Becca Earnhardt
International Nuclear Security Forum
Join the conversation on Twitter: @INS_Forum
- 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
- 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.”
- Contractor Oversight: Information on the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Report on Burdensome Regulatory Requirements: “NNSA identified 91 requirements its contractors viewed as burdensome, and committed to reviewing 16 of them in a 2019 report. For example, identified requirements included certain security clearance requirements and worker safety regulations.”
- Anti-Drone System Being Tested at Military Facilities to Neutralize Ultra-Small Drones: “South Korea’s military will test-run a radar-linked solution that can detect ultra-small drones and fire interference radio waves to neutralize them before they reach key military facilities. It is capable of detecting an ultra-small drone about eight kilometers away.”
- The Y-12 Nuclear Development Site Has Deployed Its First Anti-Drone System: “[T]he National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Defense Nuclear Security has deployed its first counter-unmanned aircraft system at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.”
- 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
- Emergency drill planned at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant: “The Alabama Emergency Management Agency announced it and five regional EMAs simulate[d] an emergency event at Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant on [June 23].”
- U.S. Soldiers Expose Nuclear Weapons Secrets Via Flashcard Apps: “[S]ome service members have been using publicly visible flashcard learning apps — inadvertently revealing a multitude of sensitive security protocols about US nuclear weapons and the bases at which they are stored.”
- Tech Contractor for National Nuclear Security Administration Says It Is Investigating Systems Hack: “A research and development consultancy that works with the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration is investigating a cyber breach…Sol Oriens said it had appointed a technology forensics firm to investigate the incident, and that law enforcement agencies had been informed.”
- Insurance for Russian Floating NPP will Cover Physical Security Risks but not Cyberattacks: “The insurance will cover the floating NPP at its location in the port town of Pevek in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug in the Russian Arctic…The risks of terrorism, sabotage, and acts of piracy are insured for up to 1.5 billion Rubles per event. The insurance contract specifically excludes cyberattacks or loss of data from the insured events.”
- North Korea Likely Culprit in Cyberattack on South Korea’s Atomic Energy Institute: Read the press release (in Korean): “North Korea is the likely suspect behind a cyberattack on the South Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute last month which was caused by a vulnerability in the virtual private network system.”
Member Organization Announcements and Updates
The Centre of Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London
- CSSS held a two-part webinar on radiological incident response and management. Watch part one and part two of the webinar.
- To keep up to date on CSSS events and news, please subscribe to their newsletter.
- Want to see past CSS events? Watch them on their YouTube channel.
- 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 Nuclear Security program at the Stimson Center published an article “Russian-American Cooperation on Personnel Reliability” by William M. Moon, former Global Nuclear Security Program Manager for Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programs. Read the article.
- Security Under Strain? Protecting Nuclear Materials During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Read the latest journal article from Dr. Christopher Hobbs, Nickolas Roth, and Dr. Daniel Salisbury looking at how the pandemic impacted nuclear security.
- The Role of Civil Society in Strengthening Nuclear Security: Read the latest article from Becca Earnhardt in NCT Magazine.
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)
- WINS released its new five-year strategy document. Read the report here.