Over the past several years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been working on a definition of ‘nuclear security culture’ so that it can be used as a tool to improve the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities. A 2001 IAEA report titled ‘Fundamental Principles of Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities’ identified security culture as one of the twelve principles underlying fissile-material security. In February 2005, at a summit in Bratislava, President Bush and President Putin vowed to step up joint efforts to bolster nuclear security, pairing disciplined, well-trained, responsible custodians and protective forces with well-maintained security systems. In July 2005, a series of amendments to the Physical Protection Convention was approved elevating the status of security culture to that of a treaty obligation. Since that time, IAEA member states worked on a concept, definition and guidelines for developing and implementing a robust security culture at nuclear facilities worldwide. This NATO workshop presents the views of experts with the hope to contribute to the IAEA’s work and facilitate nuclear security culture worldwide better. Issues include: Universality of nuclear security cultures; Nuclear security in a nation’s culture; Differences and similarities between regions such as US, European Union, Japan, etc.; and The advantages of similarities between the regions.
Over the past several years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been working on a definition of “nuclear security culture” so that it can be used as a tool to improve the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities. A 2001 IAEA report titled “Fundamental Principles of Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Facilities” identified security culture as one of the twelve principles underlying fissile-material security. In February 2005, at their summit in Bratislava, President Bush and President Putin vowed to step up joint efforts to bolster nuclear security, pairing disciplined, well-trained, responsible custodians and protective forces with well-maintained security systems. In July 2005, a series of amendments to the Physical Protection Convention was approved elevating the status of security culture to that of a treaty obligation. Since that time, IAEA member states worked on a concept, definition and guidelines for developing and implementing a robust security culture at nuclear facilities worldwide.
The Nato Advanced Research Workshop “Nuclear Security Culture: From National Best Practices to International Standards,” which gathered in Moscow in the fall of 2005, brought together almost 100 experts from over 30 countries to discuss these issues and present their views with the hope to contribute to the IAEA's work and facilitate better nuclear security culture worldwide. During the two-day workshop the participants examined several analytical questions:
1. What properties of nuclear security culture are universally applicable across national and cultural boundaries? How can these properties be communicated to representatives from a wide variety of regional and national traditions?
2. How does nuclear security culture fit into a nation's overall professional culture? How can improvements to security culture be made to improve an organization's overall performance? How can leaders be persuaded to “buy into” security culture?
3. What differences and similarities are there between the following regions with regard to security culture: (a) the United States, the European Union, and Japan; (b) Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Central Europe; (c) China and East Asia; (d) South Asia; and (e) Latin America? What national variations are there?
4. How can various interested parties – nuclear managers, governments, international institutions – use the similarities among national and regional professional cultures to raise overall standards of security culture? How can they work around differences in national and regional culture?
This short paper provides an informal perspective on the United Kingdom's development of security culture. It is an individual and personal viewpoint, as encouraged at this workshop, and does not represent formal U.K. policy on the subject.
To make security culture universal, deeper thought about its associated factors—namely personnel, hardware, organization, and information—is required. To this end, it is critical to understand and emphasize the interrelation of these factors, as well as to assure that they are well-balanced. The concept of safety culture materialized out of the experience of various nuclear accidents, giving rise to an international common sense for those whose work is related to the nuclear power field. Based on valuable experience from the past, I believe that many things can be learned from the model and emergence of safety culture, which in turn can help us create a far-reaching and sustainable security culture. In this report, personnel, hardware, organization, and information are examined as the basic elements of security culture.
In the field of security, equipment and management systems, or security systems, are established ahead of time to address anticipated threats. Routine tasks and the response to actual or suspected events are controlled in real time by the performance of individuals and teams (human performance), while the possible impact of unknown conditions or threats is minimized through anticipation and learning (learning). Together, these three areas of the overall security system make up what we can call the “security culture” of an organization.
Over the past few years, security threats to the nuclear fuel cycle have increased as a consequence of increased terrorist activities worldwide. The civilian and military nuclear industry has extensive experience in dealing with security issues. This experience is reflected in the industry's security culture, which is generally further advanced than in many other sectors of the national infrastructure in industrialized countries. The reason for this lies in its characteristics, which render the nuclear industry inherently more prone than other industries to security threats: the symbolism inherent in the nuclear industry, which is viewed as a cornerstone of modern industrialization; the physical and chemical properties of the radioactive materials handled at nuclear sites; the importance of the civilian nuclear industry to the national economy, producing up to 80 percent of total electricity in some countries; and the importance of the nuclear sector to national security in nuclear weapon states.
The increasing incidence of suicide terrorism worldwide, coupled with the increasing degree of transnational operational logistics used to plan and implement covert illicit activities, has resulted in new security risks for the nuclear fuel cycle. These new security risks cover a wide range, from the successful establishment of international networks that covertly traffic in nuclear technology and materials, to the loss of “self-protection” of radioactive materials in the case of suicide terrorism. Several such security threats have already emerged.
Therefore, it will be necessary for nuclear facility owners and operators, security agencies, and regulators to strengthen the current nuclear security culture at all levels by considering it as a dynamic process, reflecting the needs of the time. This will require a review and overhaul of the current security management system, building sufficient flexibility into the system to make it applicable to all nuclear operations for all situations, since there is no “best” approach. Key to success in countering new threats is a clear emphasis on the important role played by each of the stakeholders. Ideally, a comprehensive nuclear security culture (CNSC) system should reflect a close relationship among operators, managers, and regulators in jointly analyzing new threat scenarios, developing adequate, cost-effective countermeasures, and allowing each stakeholder to identify for himself his specific contribution to the overall goal. Four universal properties of a CNSC system are presented here, which should enable the nuclear community to adapt the current nuclear security culture to the new security risks.
This paper discusses the nuclear security culture concept and definition, and provides a review of the 12 fundamental principles as stipulated in the amended Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials.
Safeguarding nuclear material has become paramount for international security since the end of the Cold War, and in particular since September 11, 2001. On the one hand, nuclear materials have became more readily available and accessible as a result of the Soviet collapse and the emergence of many new suppliers. On the other, the nature and intensity of the threat have changed, rendering previously existing measures to safeguard nuclear materials less adequate. The biggest threat to international security since the early 1990s has been the theft of nuclear materials by terrorists who use these materials in terror attacks. The emphasis during these early years was on quickly fixing security gaps at a large number of nuclear facilities. There was little time to develop a comprehensive strategy not only to fund, build, or install these upgrades, but also to assure that they were properly used and operated. It soon became clear that these initial strategies placed insufficient emphasis on the human factor of materials protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A). Newly installed equipment was in many cases incompatible with work practices and threat perceptions among facility personnel.
Subsequent efforts to develop an appropriate “security culture” that addresses the new security threats have produced positive results. Security culture received the high-level attention it undoubtedly deserves at the U.S.-Russian Bratislava summit in February 2005. However, most observers agree that changing security culture is not as easy as installing technical upgrades: cultures are resistant to change and develop gradually, whereas a quick response is needed. A striking cultural shift occurred in the safety-culture domain after the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Indeed, this cultural transformation took place not only on the workforce level but on the level of facility management, the national leadership, and even the general public. The accident also helped revolutionize international perspectives on and cooperation in nuclear safety, resulting in new international norms and regulations to prevent such accidents in the future. This paper examines the safety-culture shift and considers how applicable it is to the ongoing work of improving security culture at nuclear facilities worldwide.
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