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IAEA NSSC Network Newsletter

ISSUE 5 | MARCH 2020


Chair's Welcome

Dear <<Title>> <<Last Name>>,

As the Chair of the NSSC Network for 2019-2020, I am pleased to highlight progress that the International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSC Network) has made toward achieving major objectives since the previous publication of this Newsletter in September 2019.
After a very active start to the first half of 2019, we continued the Network year with a Consultancy Meeting for the Task Force on development of information management tools and the mid-year NSSC Network Bureau Meeting during the week of 14 – 18 October in Vienna, Austria. The Task Force made progress in finalizing key updates to the NSSC Network database to harmonize it with the revision of IAEA TECDOC 1734: Establishing a National Nuclear Security Support Centre. The NSSC Network Bureau discussed the overall Network strategy, reviewed progress in implementation of the three Working Groups’ Action Plans, identified key actions for the coming year, and began preparations for the upcoming Annual Meeting.

On 20 – 21 January, members of the Task Force met again to develop new promotional materials, including videos to welcome new Members and provide them introductory information on the Network. NSSC Network Working Group B subsequently gathered from 22 to 24 January to develop an overall plan and framework for collecting good practices in establishing and operating an NSSC. In a key development for the Network, Working Group B agreed during this meeting to develop a new library for lessons learned and good practice case studies to be hosted on the IAEA NUSEC Portal. Several Members also represented the NSSC Network well at a technical session on the role of NSSCs in sustaining the nuclear security regime at the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts, held from 10 to 14 February in Vienna.
For 2020, we expect another dynamic and productive year with further steps to strengthen the Network. I believe I can speak for all Network Members in mentioning that we look forward excitedly to deploying the updated Database and publication of the revision of TECDOC 1734 in early 2020. In support of the collaboration among NSSCs within particular regions, the IAEA will continue to facilitate activities hosted by regional subgroups within the NSSC Network. Representing a key step forward in their cooperation, the members of the Asia Regional Network of NSSCs – China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea – will host an inaugural technical exchange visit for NSSCs in the Asia Pacific region, focused on human resource development, in September 2020. And Working Group A is developing plans to implement a pilot regional workshop on the implementation of the new revision of TECDOC 1734 by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
As always, I would like to thank all contributors to this issue, especially the leadership of Working Group C (Information Sharing, Promotion, and Outreach) and the IAEA for their ongoing cooperation and support for development of our Newsletter. The next issue is expected in fall 2020 (here).

*NUSEC and NSSC Network webpage access is available only for Members of the NSSC Network and participants of NSSC Network meetings.


Aleksejus Livsic

NSSC Network Chair, Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence (NSCOE), Lithuania


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Egyptian NSSC experience with nuclear security for Major Public Events
By Mr Mahmoud Mohamed; Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA)
ENSSC staff scan public areas for possible illicit use of nuclear and other radioactive material. Photo: Y. Soliman/ENRRA
The threat of malicious or criminal acts involving nuclear and other radioactive materials demands constant vigilance at the national, regional and global levels. For that reason, Egypt has and is continuously working to strengthen and sustain its national nuclear security regime, including through the Egyptian Nuclear Security Support Centre (ENSSC). The role of the ENSSC in strengthening and sustaining nuclear security became particularly clear when Egypt recently organized a major public event (MPE).
In 2019, Egypt hosted the Africa Cup of Nations regional football championship. This biennial sports competition was awarded to Egypt at short notice and the preparation therefore presented a unique security challenge. Egyptian authorities were required to put special systems and measures in place rapidly to prevent, detect, and respond to potential criminal or terrorist acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material during the games.
Recognizing that the football matches would need to be screened for possible illicit use of nuclear and other radioactive material, the Government of Egypt turned to the ENSSC to train and lead a team of officers from multiple organizations who could carry out this effort, building on support that the IAEA had given the ENSSC through procurement of radiation detection equipment and provision of training. The ENSSC hosted three government-wide meetings to develop and implement the national plan for nuclear security during this MPE. As a part of that plan, the ENSSC was responsible not only for training the MPE team, but also for supplying and maintaining the radiation detection equipment that would be used during the competition.
ENSSC staff scan football stadiums for possible illicit use of nuclear and other radioactive material. Photos: Y. Soliman/ENRRA
Serving in these roles, the ENSSC was proudly able and ready to provide necessary support for the Africa Cup of Nations using a diverse range of resources: classrooms, equipment, instructors and technical experts. One of the biggest challenges this presented for the ENSSC was the impact on staffing that included technical experts and lecturers working around the clock to prepare, monitor and lead all the MPE teams and equipment stationed at six stadiums in four large cities across different regions of Egypt. ENSSC staff were constantly learning and adapting to a new nuclear security environment as they helped to strengthen nuclear security culture among the people working in the field of sports who had little familiarity with the subject. 
On the other hand, the ENSSC gained key benefits through this experience. Of particular note, the ENSSC was able to strengthen its profile and standing within the nuclear security regime and identify new national stakeholders. Based on the successful planning, leadership, and support during the Africa Cup of Nations, the sports federations in Egypt are looking to the ENSSC to help lead in future preparation for sports MPE. This recognition is testament to the valuable contributions that the ENSSC can make to sustaining and strengthening nuclear security among national stakeholders. 
The ENSSC experience with nuclear security for MPEs can also serve as a successful case for other States to consider. The primary lesson is that States that have an NSSC would be prudent to view their centre as a key stakeholder when preparing nuclear security systems and measures for an MPE. In line with its core functions, NSSCs can provide training for nuclear security MPE teams, technical support for the maintenance of radiation detection equipment used during the MPE, and scientific support if response to a nuclear security event is required.


These news stories either highlight NSSC Network members at work in the field, or provide information on subjects relevant to the Network.

China’s Atomic Energy Authority and IAEA to Collaborate to Improve Nuclear Security Equipment

Under a new cooperation agreement, the IAEA and Chinese institutions will work together to improve the functioning of radiation detection equipment and physical protection systems, including by testing them in a facility that simulates harsh environmental conditions.

IAEA, Rosatom Technical Academy to Cooperate to Strengthen Knowledge Management and Nuclear Security

The IAEA and Russia’s Rosatom Technical Academy (Rosatom Tech) have agreed to work together to help Member States strengthen knowledge management and human resources development for nuclear energy and nuclear security. 

More News


Protecting nuclear material from terrorists and criminal groups is on the global agenda, with over 130 countries coming together to strengthen their nuclear security commitments. The International Atomic Energy Agency is hosting the International Conference on Nuclear Security, or ICONS, for countries to discuss the best ways to secure nuclear and radioactive materials.


Upcoming network events

  • Annual Meeting of the International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Center (NSSC Network), TBD 2020, Vienna, Austria
  • Latin America NSSC Regional Cooperation Meeting, June 2020, (date and venue TBC)
  •  Asia Regional Network Meeting and Technical Exchange Visit on Human Resource Development for NSSCs in the Asia-Pacific Region, 14 – 18 September 2020, Beijing, China

Recent member activities

  • Lithuania: Radiation Detection at the Border training Course, 3 – 4 September 2019, Vilnius District, Lithuania
  • Indonesia Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security and Emergency Preparedness: Training of Radioactive Sources Security Officer, 17 – 19 September 2019, Bogor Cisarua, Indonesia
  • Indonesia National Nuclear Energy Agency-Center for Education and Training: Basic Training Course for First Responder on Radiologic Emergency, 7 – 11 October 2019, Indonesia
  • Sri Lanka: National training course on the operation of the national radiological security event monitoring centre, 21 – 24 October 2019, Kalutara, Sri Lanka
  • Niger: National Workshop on Nuclear Security Culture, 11 – 14 November 2019, Niamey, Niger
  • Senegal: Regional Workshop on Nuclear Security Detection Architecture Design, Strategy and Planning for French-speaking African States, 11 – 15 November 2019, Dakar, Senegal
  • China: Regional Workshop on Threat Assessment and Design Basis Threats, 12 – 15 November 2019, Beijing, China
  • Thailand: IAEA Regional Workshop on Threat Assessment and a Risk Informed Approach for Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control, 16 – 20 December 2019, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Montenegro: National seminar to follow-up on the International Conference on Nuclear Security 2020, 19 – 20 February 2020, Podgorica, Montenegro

*List of member activities selected from the NSSC Network Calendar requesting promotion in the Newsletter

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Network event data

106 events from 1 September 2019 – 29 February 2020
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