Sweden has made good progress over the past five years in its legislative and regulatory framework for physical protection and computer security at nuclear power facilities and in the transport of nuclear materials, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
An IAEA International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) team completed a two-week follow-up mission on 14 October to review the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security in Sweden. The previous IPPAS mission to the country was conducted in May 2011. The latest mission was the 74th such mission conducted by the IAEA since the IPPAS program began in 1995.
IPPAS missions are intended to help IAEA member states strengthen their national nuclear security regime through peer review advice and IAEA guidance. A team of international experts assesses a nation's physical protection systems, compares it with international best practices and recommends improvements. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nationwide and facility-specific basis.
"Sweden's example in applying IAEA Nuclear Security Guidance and using IAEA advisory services demonstrates the value of agency assistance in helping states to adhere to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment."
The latest IPPAS mission to Sweden was led by Joseph Sandoval of Sandia National Laboratories in the USA and included nine experts from seven states and the IAEA. The team met with officials from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the National Police Authority and the Forsmark nuclear power plant.
In addition to reviewing Sweden's nuclear security practices, the team also discussed the country's implementation of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which provides a strengthened framework for combatting nuclear terrorism and protecting nuclear material and nuclear facilities. Sweden ratified the amendment in 2012. The amendment entered into force in May 2015. The team also visited the Ringhals plant to review physical protection measures.
The IPPAS team concluded that Sweden has made good progress in implementing the recommendations of the previous mission. It identified a number of good practices in the national nuclear security regime and at the Ringhals plant, while also making recommendations and suggestions for continuous improvement.
In April 2013, as a result of recommendations from the earlier IPPAS review, established a formal coordination group that includes the SSM, the National Police Authority, the Swedish Security Service, the Civil Contingencies Agency and the National Grid Authority. This group coordinates various measures to ensure the effective protection of nuclear facilities, as well as nuclear material during transport, including by carrying out threat assessments.
Raja Adnan, director of the IAEA's nuclear security division, said: "For any state that uses nuclear power, a strong commitment to security is a must. Sweden's example in applying IAEA Nuclear Security Guidance and using IAEA advisory services demonstrates the value of agency assistance in helping states to adhere to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment."
SSM director general Mats Persson said, "The results from the IPPAS mission provide useful support in our work to continuously improve Sweden's nuclear security regime. Many of the recommendations made in 2011 have led to substantial improvements, for example in terms of better liaison between public authorities, more clearly defined requirements and security measures taken at the nuclear power plants."
The IAEA said it will submit the IPPAS review team's report to the Swedish government in a couple of months.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News