Wrap-up: International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities

Last Friday marked the close of the International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities, held from November 13 to 17, 2017, in Vienna, Austria. The Conference was organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency in cooperation with the World Institute for Nuclear Security, World Nuclear Transport Institute and the International Criminal Police Organization. The conference President was the CNSC’s Kathleen Heppell-Masys, Director General, Directorate of Security and Safeguards.

Kathleen Heppell-Masys, Conference President, with Juan Carlos Lentijo, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, IAEA.

The Conference provides a forum for Member States to share their experiences, lessons learned and good practices as identified during their implementation of Nuclear Security Series 13, titled "Nuclear Security Recommendations on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities".

Last Monday, Ms. Heppell-Masys opened the conference by delivering the President’s remarks to 107 Member States (800 participants). She remarked that "The IAEA’s nuclear security activities are sustained by promoting a good nuclear security culture. The responsibility for achieving this security culture begins with each Member State’s leadership – whether national regulatory authorities, operators, or policy- makers – and further efforts should be undertaken in this area to underscore the importance of this responsibility", which reflects the CNSC’s continuous efforts to ensure nuclear safety. She also encouraged member states to ratify the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its amendment.

The five-day conference offered 39 technical sessions in four parallel tracks, 40 poster presentations, 6 panel sessions, 4 side events, an exhibition and interactive content presentations. Ms. Heppell-Masys concluded the conference by encouraging Member States to take what they have learned back home so that they can continue to convert ideas into concrete action and work cooperatively with other states, organizations and people. For more information on the conference or to watch videos of the proceedings, you can visit the IAEA website.