The objective of the Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) Nuclear Security Programme is to improve the security of fissile and other nuclear and radiological materials in line with internationally accepted International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) standards. The Programme supports improvements to the physical protection at vulnerable sites and provides training for security personnel, designed to strengthen security culture and procedures.
Physical protection projects in Russia
The UK has been supporting improvements to civilian nuclear security infrastructure in Russia for a number of years as part of our contribution to the Global Partnership. Work at Atomflot and four other civilian sites is now complete and GTRP’s two final physical protection upgrade projects in Russia will complete in 2011. To maximise the sustainability of upgrades, the UK is providing tapered sustainability support for a graduated handover of responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of UK-funded systems to the site operators.
Physical protection projects outside Russia
As part of a multinational project to improve the management of disused sealed radioactive sources (SRS) in the Ukraine, the UK is leading a joint project with the European Union, to design and build a new secure store for highly active SRS inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. A contract for the construction of the store has been signed and construction is expected to commence in June 2011. Negotiations for the procurement of equipment are ongoing.
Collaboration with the IAEA
The UK works closely with the IAEA Office of Nuclear Security to implement a range of projects funded via the UK’s contributions to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. GTRP contributed £2 million to the Fund in 2006, £4 million in 2009 and a further £4 million in 2011. Our first major infrastructure project, completed in 2009, provided physical protection upgrades for the radioactive waste facility at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at Alatau, Kazakhstan. A project to upgrade security at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant was completed in early 2010: one of the largest physical protection projects undertaken to date by the IAEA. A project to improve security infrastructure at a radioactive waste store in Tajikistan is due to complete in 2011. UK funds also provide support to the IAEA’s global nuclear security training activities.
Collaboration with the United States
In March 2009, the UK contributed £4 million to the United States National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) to support specific work identified by the UK as high priority, on radiological and nuclear security, including contributions to GTRI’s highly enriched uranium minimisation programme.
Nuclear security workshops
Security culture plays an essential role in underpinning the effectiveness of physical security systems. Complementing UK-funded infrastructure projects, the GTRP nuclear security workshop forms an important component of the Nuclear Security Programme. The workshop draws on IAEA and UK best practice and is run in collaboration with the UK Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Magnox South’s Dungeness site.