Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

I. Introduction


101. In order to promote uniformly high standards for the protection of nuclear material, the IAEA provides recommendations in INFCIRC/225/Rev.3, The Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, on the requirements for physical protection of these materials in use, transit and storage. This following guidance is an effort to assist in assuring that the recommendations of INFCIRC/225/Rev.3 are applied uniformly and rigorously throughout the international nuclear community. The text of INFCIRC/225/Rev.3 is provided in Appendix 1.

102. Chapter II, Objective and Elements of State Physical Protection Systems, describes in more detail the recommendations for the establishment of a State system of physical protection to protect against the theft of nuclear material or the sabotage of nuclear material or facilities. Chapter III, Categorization of Nuclear Material Activities, provides some additional guidance on how this system of categorization can best be applied and utilized. Chapter IV, Physical Protection Concepts, provides a clearer description of the principles of physical protection used in the field and which underlie INFCIRC/225/Rev.3. These explanations are contained in three subheadings which emphasize the three different applications of these physical protection principles and concepts, i.e., a) Theft of nuclear material; b) Sabotage of nuclear facilities, and c) Transit of nuclear material. Because of the prominent role of States in the international transfer of nuclear material, the section on transit additionally highlights the part States play in regulating physical protection aspects of transportation and notes obligations placed upon States Party to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (INFCIRC/274/Rev.1).

103. In order to clarify the relationship between INFCIRC/225/Rev.3 and this guidance, the relevant paragraph number(s) in INFCIRC/225/Rev.3 has been given in brackets at appropriate places throughout the document.

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