The Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities, INFCIRC// Rev.4, provides recommendations for the physical protection of nuclear. physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities infcirc revision 5. English STI/PUB/; (ISBN); 57 pp.; € ; Date. INFCIRC/ has been updated several times, the current version being INFCIRC//Rev Revision 4 is undergoing a major revision, and.

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To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, we maintain travel advisories for more than destinations. The Australian Passport Office and its agents are committed to providing a secure, efficient and responsive passport service for Australia. Second, the paper will discuss the evolving philosophy behind the NSS, how Revision 5 fits within this structure, and the possible direction of future revisions of Revision 5 to fit this structure.

The subject of nuclear security or, in the parlance of the nuclear industry, physical protection has taken on greater prominence over the last ten years since the terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September demonstrated the willingness of terrorist groups to escalate to new scales of mass destruction. This was the largest gathering of world leaders convened by a US president since the end of World War II 1and resulted in an outcomes document with several important undertakings on securing nuclear materials.

However, nuclear security is not new – nuclear operators, policy makers, regulators and the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA have been setting international standards for nuclear material and facilities since the early s. The first legally binding instrument dedicated to physical protection was the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material CPPNMwhich was opened for signature in and came into force in The provisions contained within the CPPNM are high level and focussed primarily on what nuclear material to protect and what to reportrather than how to protect, and is primarily limited to international transport.

It is seen as the complement of the CPPNM by going into much more detail on physical protection implementation requirements. This was completed infollowing the first comprehensive review in about ten years 4.

It included significant changes in structure and clarity, and introduced important concepts such as design basis threats 5 DBTs. Significantly, it made clearer distinctions between requirements to protect against unauthorised removal and against sabotage, including a new chapter on sabotage of nuclear facilities and nuclear materials.

The report concluded there was “a clear need to strengthen the international physical protection regime”, and recommended the CPPNM be strengthened through an amendment. One of the recommendations was that the Amendment should include a statement of Physical Protection Objectives and Fundamental Principles. The scope was expanded to cover domestic use, storage and transport, as well as sabotage of nuclear facilities.

It also provided for expanded cooperation between and among states regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences.

This review was initiated for a combination of reasons: Similar provisions are contained in the bilateral safeguards agreements of other countries such as the US and Canada. This is ongoing and will comprise several categories of documents in hierarchical strata. Nuclear Security Fundamentals containing objectives, concepts and principles of nuclear security and the basis for nuclear security recommendations; Nuclear Security Recommendations presenting best practices to adopt in the application of the Fundamentals; and Implementing Guidelines and Technical Guidance documents providing elaboration on implementation and technical details relevant to the Recommendations.

This structure is outlined in the following figure. The Nuclear Security Fundamentals document is a higher level document that establishes the foundations of nuclear security 10 from which the other documents in the NSS are based. The twelve Essential Elements in the draft Fundamentals document are not a complete one-to-one relationship with the Amended CPPNM’s twelve Fundamental Principles, but draw heavily from, and cover all, of the Fundamental Principles, plus concepts e.

The Recommendations documents outline best practice steps for applying the Fundamentals. There are currently three Recommendations documents in development: It contains some guidance more suited to implementing guides implications of this discussed below.

The NSS is early in its development but is close to finalising the top-tier documents that will serve as the building blocks for the series. The Nuclear Security Fundamentals document has likewise been through a technical meeting, but has not yet been distributed for a day Member States review. Twelve of these Guidelines have been produced, with several others in the drafting stage, and others planned.

In reaching a compromise the structuring of Revision 5 is divided into sections under Essential Element titles, with corresponding Fundamental Principles referenced where applicable. If Revision 5 had been designed to fit completely into the strata of the NSS, much of the implementation detail on applying physical protection systems and infrastructure to different categories of nuclear material would be lost. Whether this is critical to the objective of safeguards agreement suppliers to ensure appropriate physical protection standards are applied is a matter for each such state to determine.


These visits permit several activities, such as: It is not a perfect fit as the NSS Nuclear Material and Facilities Recommendations document, but the technical meeting that reviewed the final draft considered it a well crafted compromise, and as such a sound basis for proceeding with a day review process by all Member States. Whether Revision 5 is sustainable in the long term when future developments of this document and the NSS are considered, will be discussed below.

Revision 5 was not all about harmonisation, it was also important to modernise the document to reflect contemporary threats such as terrorism and industry practices. Given Revision 5 is the first since the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 Septemberit may come as a surprise that it contains no mention of the words “terrorism” or “terrorist” This reflects the fact that the fundamentals in Revision 4 were sound, and in particular the provision on using design basis threats DBTs in designing security systems gave the flexibility necessary for accommodating a full range of threats.

One area of Revision 5 that was crafted, in part, with terrorist threats in mind is a small but fundamentally important qualifier to footnote “e” on radiation levels in the table of categorisation of nuclear material same footnote unchanged in Revision 4 and 5.

The categorisation table lists different types of nuclear material plutonium, uranium, uranium, and irradiated fuel against three categories, according to proliferation risks – with category I being high risk nuclear materials, such as unirradiated plutonium over 2kg or unirradiated high enriched uranium over 5 kg, and category III covering similar types of nuclear material only in gram or kilogram quantities. Revision 5 qualifies this re-categorisation provision by stating that “if the threat assessment or [DBT] includes an adversary who is willing to die to accomplish their mission, States should carefully consider whether or not to reduce the categorization levels of the material on the basis of radiation levels sufficient to incapacitate the adversary before the malicious act is completed” emphasis added.

The impact of this provision will be elaborated in the following section. Whether the adoption of Revision 5 will require substantial changes to national nuclear security frameworks will depend on how national systems are currently structured and operated.

The following outlines some of the changes that may require consideration by regulators and operators. As discussed above, Revision 4 was the first to incorporate the concept of DBTs. While this is a valuable tool, there are circumstances where the quantities or types of nuclear material are of low proliferation sensitivity so designing systems against defined adversary attributes and characteristics may not be necessary.

Revision 5 recognises more flexible fit-for-purpose approaches in security design by allowing for security requirements and systems to be defined on the basis of a DBT or a threat assessment, which is defined as “the evaluation of the threats – based on available intelligence, law enforcement, and open source information – that describes the motivations, intentions, and capabilities of these threats”.

This may appear similar to the DBT definition, but it is more flexible and potentially less resource-intensive, as it allows flexibility in the type of information used and does not require defined adversary attributes and characteristics.

Importantly for operators, a limited access area does not require the high level of physical protection systems and infrastructure used for protected areas and vital areas. Rather, it gives credit to general site fences already commonly found at facilities and ensures that protected area boundaries are not freely accessible to the public.

Given the increased profile of terrorism in national security planning over the last ten years, many nuclear facilities likely already factor this type of threat into physical protection systems. For those that have not, re-categorising nuclear material up from Category III to II or Category II to I, could require significant changes in physical protection systems and infrastructure. That being said, it is the responsibility of the appropriate state authorities, using all credible sources of information available to the state, to assess and define the nature of the threat, and the extent to which the threat from adversaries willing to die to accomplish their mission, needs be accommodated.

So called force-on-force exercises are explicitly mentioned for the first time as an example of performance testing for the protection of Category I material. This may require additional security exercises to be performed by operators and regulators. However, while the development of the NSS as a full and structured series of nuclear security guidance documents will be an important tool in guiding operator and regulators and disseminating standards, it is not yet complete.


Once the NSS is completed it should become the standard set of nuclear security guidelines adopted by facilities around the world. If the level of detail is not sufficient to assess adherence to security standards, one solution could be to prescribe a combination of the Nuclear Materials and Facilities Recommendation document and one or more Implementing Guidelines.

This might not be achievable as the Implementing Guidelines may be too prescriptive for use as legally binding guidelines in bilateral safeguards agreements.

Furthermore, the full process of amending treaties, even if the textual changes are minor, is not trivial. This solution is not ideal either as it could create difficulties of competing parallel standards. It is not only in the context of bilateral safeguards agreements that adherence to physical protection standards is assessed, as the IAEA will likely use the NSS for its international physical protection advisory service IPPAS missions.

Under this model, adherence to security standards could still be assessed in bilateral consultations, but assessments would be at the systems-level, rather than the details of implementation. A variation on this model could be to use a graded approach.

Category III for fresh fuel and Category II for spent fuel – as would be the case for majority of civil nuclear facilities – the model described here could be used. In circumstances where Category I material is used e. While nuclear security’s profile has recently taken centre stage viz. On the whole, its adoption and implementation by most operators and regulators should not require significant effort or changes.

Two possible exceptions stand out. First, there is the new recommendation, related to reducing categories for “self protecting” highly radioactive material, that assessments of threats consider adversaries that may be willing to die to accomplish their mission.


Ref.4 some nuclear security systems this could require significant changes, but the authors of this paper are not privy to how threats are assessed in other countries. Second, the recommendation on performance testing, including force-on-force exercises for Category I materials, if not already in practice would require additional resources and organisation.

Opening Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at press conference, 30 April – usun. The term nuclear security is used here, rather than infxirc protection, as the nuclear security series goes beyond protection of nuclear material to protection of all radiological materials.

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) | Treaties & Regimes | NTI

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Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

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