Director General of Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission Prof. Lazaro S. P. Busagala officiated the opening session of the Regional Workshop on Developing a Road Map for Building a Nuclear Security Detection Architecture For Materials Out Of Regulatory Control that held here in Arusha from 27-31 May 2019.
The meeting was attended by thirty participants from four countries in the Africa Region. International Atomic Energy Agency expert Ms Maria Nikolaki, International experts Dr. Samer Qur’an, Ms. Beth Kaboro, Ms Amand Askin and Mr Georgiy Sylslotsky gave different presentations in different topics.
The workshop gave participants an opportunity to discuss the importance of Nuclear Security Detection Architecture (NSDA) and its components and discuss key roles and responsibilities of various agencies involved. The workshop will assist the participants to identify what is needed for the development and the use of NSDA. Consequently, participants will share their national experience on main elements of NSDA and existing nuclear security legal frame work in their respective home countries.
Prof. Busagala informed the participants that “Nuclear terrorism and illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material threaten the security of all States.” Prof Busagala further said “there are large quantities of radioactive materials, which are used for many peaceful applications, however there is a possibility that nuclear and other radioactive material may fall into wrong hands and used for malicious acts”
The risk that nuclear or other radioactive material could be used in terrorist acts is regarded as a serious threat to international peace and security. Material out of regulatory control could lead to criminal or terrorist acts including: (a) criminals or terrorists acquiring and using nuclear material to build an improvised nuclear device (IND); or (b) deliberate dispersal of radioactivity, by the construction of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) or radiation exposure device (RED); or c) through an act of sabotage at a facility that uses or stores nuclear and other radioactive material; or during transport of nuclear and other radioactive materials.
Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission is improving in implementing a framework, and best practices of nuclear security detection architecture at national level. This also aims to provide to the relevant organs awareness of the core concepts of nuclear security detection architecture and its role in the context of security measures for nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control. The focus is to implement nuclear security detection concepts and contribute to the comprehensive assessment of nuclear security detection architecture at the State level. The possibility that nuclear or other radioactive material could be used for malicious purposes is real. This calls for a collective commitment to the control of and accountancy for material, as well as to adequate levels of protection in order to prevent criminal or unauthorized access to the material or associated facilities. Sharing of knowledge and experience, coordination among States and collaboration with other international organizations, initiatives, and industries support an effective international nuclear security framework.
To implement the architecture, a priority activity will be increased awareness of the threat among the relevant agencies and the Front Line Officers (FLOs) that are likely to be the first point of encounter with the threat. The development of operation concepts and conduct, procedures, and communication protocols will need to be developed. Once developed, these concepts will be the basis for training of FLOs and senior officials. Detection by information will involve increased awareness of law enforcement, intelligence, military and border/customs agencies. Training programs to increase awareness and how to understand potential indicators of radioactive materials or intended illicit trafficking will be needed. Detection by instrument will also be an important component of the national detection architecture. Provision of equipment, training on its use, and expertise on maintenance and repair will be required. States must put nuclear security measures in place to ensure that nuclear or radioactive materials do not disrupt events and pose a threat.