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Webinar on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): The reality and consequences today and in the future

29 July 2020 - 29 July 2020 Online, Public Event

Applications for this event are closed
Workshop on autonomous and remotely operated systems: Benefits and challenges to nuclear security


In line with WINS’ innovative approach to best practice webinars, this event was interactive. The webinar was built around presentations, as well as questions and answer segments with participants to further explore the topic and share experiences and lessons learned. A polling system allowed participants to provide their views on questions put to the audience.

The webinar was conducted on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, at 16:00 (CET).

Reference material: Special Report on Evolving Security Threats and Advanced Security Technologies and Questions and Answers from the webinar.

Duration: 60 minutes

Language: English

Recording: The webinar recording is available directly on the Livestorm webinar platform


The management of security programmes is changing rapidly with the development and availability of new security technologies. Together with their obvious benefits, some of these technologies can also be used for malicious purposes. For example, as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly called drones, have become more common and accessible, they have opened a new area in the security sector. While drones can pose a new type of threat to critical infrastructures such as nuclear facilities, the technology can also be integrated as a new tool in security arrangements. The public perception of drones has focused on the problems they can create, such as widely publicised disruptions at airports and commercial nuclear facilities. While many of these incidents appear to have been carried out by opportunists seeking to generate attention, the disturbances demonstrate that security plans must take this new dimension into account as a potential vector of attack.

Over the past few years, WINS has organised and conducted several international events to discuss how governments and nuclear operators are adapting to continuously evolving nuclear security threats and to review how advanced security technologies are being integrated into security programmes.

As part of this series of activities, WINS published a Special Report on Evolving Security Threats and Advanced Security Technologies in 2018. Since then, risks to international nuclear security have continued to grow as threats evolve and open source information becomes increasingly available. Improved or new security technologies also continue to emerge to help mitigate these risks.

WINS has decided to revise its Special Report and is organising a suite of events in 2020 to support this revision. This includes a review of technological changes, particularly in the areas of autonomous and remotely operated systems. This suite of events will culminate in December 2020 with an international workshop on Advanced Security Technologies, which will review technological changes that might take place in the coming years and explore how nuclear organisations and other nuclear security stakeholders can strategically anticipate and benefit from them.

On 29 July 2020, WINS began the process with a webinar designed around the security challenges and opportunities created by drones and how operators, regulators and law enforcement agencies monitor these devices and related technologies to assess their benefits or risks.


This webinar brought three subject matter experts (a drone expert, a former nuclear regulator, and a current security chief at a nuclear power plant in the US) together to discuss the current state of play and the future of the drone threat. We discussed recent drone incidents at international airports, how governments view these issues, and how operators can effectively protect their facilities and adequately react to incidents involving drones.

The discussions also explored how drones can be integrated into existing security arrangements and reviewed prerequisites and regulations related to the integration and operation of such technologies at nuclear facilities and other critical infrastructures. In a broader manner, we discussed how nuclear operators can identify emerging technologies and decide whether to integrate them into their protection programmes.

Our special guests for the webinar were:

  • Mr. Geoff Moore, Senior Security Consultant at ARUP;
  • Mr. Rob White, Director of Nuclear Security at Xcel Energy;
  • Mr. Tomás Bieda, Nuclear Security Specialist at Tetra Tech affiliated to ORNL.

Contact Information

   Chris Behan

   Mehri Avlyakulova


Online Event

Public Event