Strengthening National Regulatory Infrastructures for the Security of Radioactive Sources: The US Department of Energy International Radiological Threat Reduction Program Regulatory Infrastructure Support Project
F. Morris1; R. Rawl2; and B. Dodd3 (1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; 2Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 3Consultant)
The mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration's International Radiological Threat Reduction Program (IRTR) is to identify, secure, recover and/or facilitate the disposition of high-risk radiological materials around the world capable of posing a threat to United States national security interests. The IRTR program works with national governments and international agencies to help ensure that radiological materials are adequately secured either on an interim basis until such time that the material is removed to a more secure environment or on a long-term basis. Complementing this "site upgrades" work is the newly established Regulatory Infrastructure Support (RIS) Project. The objective of the RIS Project is to support the creation and strengthening of effective and sustainable national regulatory infrastructures to protect radioactive sources with the potential for use in radiological dispersion devices through a combination of multilateral, regional and bilateral cooperation. In each case the RIS Project supports countries by first agreeing in principle to cooperate, jointly conducting a regulatory needs assessment, developing an action plan, and adopting cooperative arrangements to implement the action plan, with evaluation and feedback regarding the results. Cooperation is complete and successful when appropriate requirements (laws, regulations, guidance documents) are in place; implementation is verified through regulatory oversight and inspection by trained and qualified inspectors; compliance is assured by regulatory enforcement; the effectiveness of the regulatory program is regularly evaluated by the regulatory agency; a feedback loop modifies the program in light of effectiveness evaluation; and there is a national commitment to maintain the system. While the RIS Project is less than one year old, this paper provides a progress report and lessons learned through foundational work with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO a regional partner for cooperation with Southeast Asian countries) and initial cooperation with the first eight countries.