IAEA Support for the Establishment of Nuclear Security Education

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1 IAEA Support for the Establishment of Nuclear Security Education Andrea Braunegger-Guelich, Vladimir Rukhlo Office of Nuclear Security Department of Nuclear Safety and Security International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Wagramer Strasse 5, P.O. Box 100 A-1400 Vienna - Austria ABSTRACT The threat of nuclear terrorism has not diminished. In response to the concerns of States, an international nuclear security framework has emerged through the establishment of a number of legally binding and non-binding international instruments which obligates or commits States to carry out a number of actions to protect against nuclear terrorism. In this context, the need for human resource development programmes in nuclear security was underscored at several International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conferences and Board of Governors Meetings. In the pursuit of this need, the IAEA has developed together with academics and nuclear security experts from Member States a technical guidance entitled IAEA Nuclear Security Series No Educational Programme in Nuclear Security that consists of a model Master of Science (M.Sc.) and a certificate programme in nuclear security. The paper sets out IAEA efforts to support the establishment of nuclear security at educational institutions, underlines particularly the objective and content of the IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 12 and discusses the efforts made by the IAEA to establish a network among educational and research institutions, and other stakeholders to enhance global nuclear security by developing, sharing and promoting excellence in nuclear security education. 1 INTRODUCTION The potential of a malicious act 1 involving nuclear 2 or other radioactive material 3 is a continuing worldwide threat. Available data indicate circumstances in which nuclear and other radioactive material are vulnerable to theft, are uncontrolled, or in unauthorized circulation. At the same time, there is an increased interest in nuclear applications. More than 50 Member States have recently approached the IAEA expressing interest in launching a nuclear power programme. Additionally, many of the 30 Member States that already have 1 Malicious act means a wrongful act or activity intentionally done or engaged in without legal justification or excuse (e.g. smuggling) or an act or activity intended to cause death or physical injury to any person, material damage to any person (e.g. theft) or damage to property or to the environment. (GOV/2002/10) GOV documents are restricted IAEA documents. 2 Nuclear material: Plutonium, except that with isotopic concentration exceeding 80% in plutonium-238; uranium-233; uranium enriched in the isotope 235 or 233; uranium containing the mixture of isotopes as occurring in nature other than in the form of ore or ore residue; or any material containing one or more of the foregoing. (GOV/2005/50) 3 Radioactive material: Nuclear material and other radioactive substances which contain nuclides which undergo spontaneous disintegration (a process accompanied by emission of one or more types of ionizing radiation, such as alpha, beta, neutron particles and gamma rays) and which may, owing to their radiological and fissile properties, cause death, serious bodily injury, or substantial damage to property or to the environment. (Article I, International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism). [1]

2 nuclear power programmes are either expanding, or considering the expansion of their programmes. In all cases the development of human resources capable of supporting the implementation of these programmes has been identified as one of the main challenges. The increased interest in the introduction of nuclear energy and the expansion of nuclear applications implies an increase in the number of nuclear reactors and other facilities and also in the transport of nuclear and radioactive material worldwide and, therefore, an increase in the amount of nuclear material in circulation. Hence, it is of utmost importance that States establish sustainable security measures to prevent possible acts of terrorism or malicious acts involving nuclear and radioactive material and to protect the society from nuclear terrorism. To achieve this goal, it is necessary that qualified human resources in the area of nuclear security are available at all levels and in all relevant organizations and facilities. The need for human resource development programmes in nuclear security was emphasized at a number of IAEA General Conferences and the Board of Governors Meetings. In September 2009, the Board of Governors considered and approved a new Nuclear Security Plan covering the period , which recognizes that education and training is critical for States to be able to implement nuclear security and, that nuclear security culture is vital in the management of activities involving nuclear or other radioactive material. 2 The IAEA Educational Programme in Nuclear Security Nuclear security is by nature a multidisciplinary field of study that contains in addition to the technical elements of nuclear security, several traditional academic disciplines, including nuclear engineering, nuclear non-proliferation, information technology, history, international security studies, and law. Currently there is no educational institution worldwide providing a comprehensive academic programme in nuclear security that combines selected courses from across the multiple disciplines mentioned above. Therefore, the IAEA has taken the lead, and has developed together with academics and experts from Member States a technical guidance for a Master of Science (M.Sc.) programme and a certificate programme in the area of nuclear security to assist States in adapting such programmes in the future. This technical guidance was published in April 2010 as IAEA Nuclear Security Series No Educational Programme in Nuclear Security 5. This document should be considered as a guide to facilitate the development of comprehensive nuclear security academic programmes with the purpose of ensuring the availability of nuclear security experts who are able to deal with future nuclear security challenges at the national or regional level. 2.1 Programme development, objectives and content From August to October 2007, the IAEA Office of Nuclear Security developed a first draft of the IAEA Nuclear Security Series No Educational Programme in Nuclear Security that was reviewed in a consultants meeting in October 2007 by several scholars from universities teaching nuclear engineering and law enforcement and nuclear security experts. The revised document was again reviewed during a second consultants meeting in January 2008 and a workshop in March Finally, this reviewed version of the document was presented to the IAEA Member States at the open-ended technical meeting which took place in August The IAEA Nuclear Security Series No Educational Programme in Nuclear Security was finally published in April GOV/2009/54-GC(53)/18 5 For download see: [2] 2

3 The main objectives of this publication are to provide a comprehensive and current overview of nuclear security educational needs and to provide guidance for a Master of Science programme and a certificate programme in nuclear security. The IAEA Nuclear Security Series No Educational Programme in Nuclear Security is designed to provide both the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills necessary to meet the nuclear security requirements outlined in the international legal framework and in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series publications. Emphasis is placed on the implementation of these requirements and recommendations in States with different systems in place. On the basis of this guide, each university should be able to develop its own unique programme tailored to suit the State s educational needs in this area and to meet the national requirements. This IAEA guide is intended for university curriculum developers, nuclear security instructors and human resource development managers working at entities responsible for nuclear security. It might also be of value for decision makers, operators, managers at regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies and managers working at other government nuclear organizations responsible for nuclear security. 2.2 The Master of Science programme (M.Sc. programme) The structure of the recommended M.Sc. programme consists of 12 required courses and 11 elective courses. The design of each course is characterized by a combination of theoretical and practical sessions, such as demonstrations, laboratory exercises or case studies which should be in line with the teaching policy of the implementing university and defined by the individual faculty. The 12 required courses cover the main nuclear security areas prevention, detection, and response and other basic areas, such as nuclear security culture, legal framework, nuclear technologies and applications, and radiation protection. By selecting some of the elective courses, students can obtain a specialization in certain areas of nuclear security along with more advanced knowledge, such as nuclear material accountancy and control, nuclear forensics, etc. The successful completion of the programme includes a pre-thesis practice and the preparation and defence of an M.Sc. thesis in the area of prevention, detection or response, according to the selection of the majority of elective courses. The pre-thesis practice should be performed in a security office of a nuclear facility, at an emergency response organization, with law enforcement agencies, such as customs authorities or at the university under the supervision of a university professor or an experienced nuclear security officer approved by the university. 2.3 The Certificate Programme The availability of qualified specialists in all areas of nuclear security is essential for the establishment of a nuclear security regime in a State. Following the example of other technical areas, the graduate certificate programme in nuclear security could be developed by various institutions, such as universities under their continuing educational programmes, professional societies or governmental organizations. The determination of the required prerequisites for participating in a certificate programme in nuclear security should be made by the respective university or academic institution. However, applicants aiming to undertake the certificate programme should have sufficient background knowledge or relevant working experience to be able to follow the course material, as per the requirement of the university or academic institution. The recommended prerequisite courses for the participation in the certificate programme are the same as for the 3

4 M.Sc. programme. The recommended duration of the certificate programme is 16 weeks, which corresponds to a typical university semester. 3 INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY EDUCATION NETWORK (INSEN) Independent to the development of the IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 12 Educational Programme in Nuclear Security, some universities already offered academic programmes covering some areas of nuclear security. During the development of the technical guidance, several other universities expressed an interest in providing such programmes in the future. In the meantime, a number of universities have asked the IAEA to support the implementation of these programmes. In order to better address current and future requests for assistance in this area, the IAEA organized a workshop in March The objectives of the workshop were to discuss current and future nuclear security academic programmes/courses of different universities worldwide, to share lessons learned in the development and implementation of nuclear security academic programmes and, to establish a collaboration network among universities who are providing nuclear security education or who are interested in starting an academic programme/course(s) in nuclear security. During the workshop, a group of experts from academia, international organizations, and professional nuclear material management associations discussed, inter alia, on how to facilitate collaboration among educational and research institutes and other stakeholders 6 in order to ensure the sustainable establishment of nuclear security education. There was consensus that the establishment of a collaboration network for higher education in nuclear security would be an important and suitable mechanism to support this endeavour. The experts and the IAEA took immediate action and established the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN) in the framework of the workshop. The INSEN is defined as a partnership between the IAEA and educational and research institutions, and other stakeholders and its mission is to enhance global nuclear security by developing, sharing and promoting excellence in nuclear security education. The overall objective of the INSEN is to support the promotion and establishment of nuclear security education. This objective will be achieved through collaborating in the following areas/activities: - Development of peer-reviewed textbooks, computer based teaching tools and instructional material, including exercises and materials for laboratory work; - Faculty assignment and development in the different areas of nuclear security through mutual faculty exchanges and/or joint development and implementation of in-depth nuclear security training programmes or schools; - Joint research and development activities to share scientific knowledge and infrastructure; - Student exchange programmes to foster international cooperation and exchange of information; - Quality assurance: consistency with IAEA defined terminology described in the IAEA Nuclear Security Glossary, the Fundamentals and the Recommendation documents; 6 Other stakeholders: governmental entities, such as regulatory authorities, the Ministry of Justice, Finance, Health, Environment, Science, Transport; law enforcement agencies, such as Customs, Police, the intelligence services; the nuclear industry; companies with security expertise in other fields and other related organizations. 4

5 - Theses evaluation, coordination and improvement; - Performance of surveys on the effectiveness of nuclear security education among students and faculty. At this stage the INSEN membership is informal and open to any educational and research institution already involved or, that plans to be involved in nuclear security education in the future. The INSEN membership is open to any other nuclear security stakeholder that is interested or involved in nuclear security education. The INSEN membership can be requested by an authorized representative of any educational or research institution, or an authorized representative of other nuclear security stakeholders by sending an to the IAEA INSEN point of contact The INSEN is guided by all members of the network and consists of currently three working groups. INSEN Members Working Group I Working Group III Working Group II At this stage, the need for three working groups covering the following areas has been identified: - Exchange of information and development of materials for nuclear security education - Faculty development and cooperation among educational institutions - Promotion of nuclear security education. 3.1 Working Group I: Exchange of information and development of materials for nuclear security education The role of Working Group I is to establish a mechanism to coordinate and assist in the development of peer-reviewed text books as well as instructional materials for nuclear security academic programmes and to foster the exchange of materials through the Nuclear Security Web Portal (NUSEC). Further, its role is to incorporate results of nuclear security 5

6 research in instructional materials on a regular basis, and to liaise with other INSEN working groups. 3.2 Working Group II: Faculty development and cooperation among universities The role of Working Group II is to enhance faculty development in the area of nuclear security. Activities in this area include: - Identification of educational institutes willing to host nuclear security in-depth courses for teaching staff provided by leading experts; - Assistance in the development of tailored curricula for nuclear security in-depth courses; - Liaison with INSEN Working Group I for the development of instructional materials for nuclear security in-depth courses; - Assistance in the implementation of these courses; - Development of a nuclear security teaching staff roster; - Establishment of a mechanism to facilitate the exchange of students, teaching staff and researchers; - Provision of materials/information to be uploaded to the NUSEC. 3.3 Working Group III: Promotion of nuclear security education The role of Working Group III is to engage with all nuclear security stakeholders, and to promote nuclear security education. In addition, the role of this group is to identify requirements for nuclear security specialists, to assist in the development of nuclear security job descriptions and to provide materials/information to be uploaded to the NUSEC. 4 CONCLUSION It is clear that the establishment of nuclear security as academic discipline is a complex undertaking. Many issues still need to be considered and resources, such as faculty members and adequate instructional material must be developed. However, this paper illustrates that at the international level first steps have been made to assist educational institutions to develop academic programmes in nuclear security. Efforts are also underway to facilitate the cooperation and collaboration among educational and research institutions interested in providing comprehensive academic programmes in nuclear security in the future. This paper also illustrates how the process of establishing and enhancing nuclear security education can be continued and, that this long term project needs support from individual States and the academic community in order to succeed. International cooperation and collaboration is of high importance and can accelerate the systematic establishment and effective provision of nuclear security academic programmes at educational institutions and will in this way ultimately strengthen nuclear security capabilities worldwide. 6

7 5 REFERENCES [1] International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, A/59/766, United Nations, New York (2005). [2] INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Educational Programme in Nuclear Security, IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 12, Vienna (2010). 7

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