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Online Workshop on Managing Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security Interfaces at Nuclear Facilities: Learning from Operational Experience

16 November 2021 - 18 November 2021 Online, Selected Audience

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


Effective nuclear safety and nuclear security are fundamental for the successful and sustainable use of nuclear energy. Nuclear safety is related to achieving proper operating conditions, preventing accidents or mitigating the consequences of accidents, which results in the protection of workers, the public and the environment from undue radiation hazards. Nuclear security aims at preventing, detecting and responding to criminal or intentional unauthorised acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities and activities.

Professionals in the nuclear sector are aware that a coordinated approach to nuclear safety and nuclear security is the best way to maximise performance and protect nuclear facilities, the society and the environment against all threats and situations, both from accidental and malicious events. Considerable progress has been made in both disciplines over the years and a certain level of coordination has already been achieved.

In 2010, the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group (INSAG)  published a report titled The Interface between Safety and Security at Nuclear Power Plants that provided guidance for both regulators and operators on these issues and drew attention to the common objectives and importance of safety and security, as well as to the areas where different approaches are legitimately needed. The INSAG report highlighted the specific need for regulators and operators to promote both safety and security culture, noting that the workforce often includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, which results in differences in how these cultures are developed and expressed. 

The IAEA General Conference and the Board of Governors, which together form the policy organs of the IAEA, periodically reiterate the importance of the nuclear safety and nuclear security interface and requests the IAEA Secretariat to continue to facilitate (in close cooperation with Member States) a coordination process to address the nuclear safety and nuclear security interfaces in a timely manner. In addition, recommendations and guidance for strengthening the interface between nuclear safety and nuclear security are reflected in IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance. More recently, in early 2021, the IAEA published the Technical Report Series No. 1000 on The Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Security Interface: Approaches and National Experiences.

Obstacles still remain to an effective coordination of nuclear safety and nuclear security. They may include cultural barriers, conflicting regulatory requirements, financial and human resources limitations or confidentiality requirements. However, multiple efforts have been initiated by nuclear stakeholders to successfully bring safety and security functions closer. This experience and the associated lessons learned gathered from these initiatives will provide valuable information to individuals and organisations willing to strengthen the coordination of nuclear security and nuclear safety, and ultimately achieve better security at nuclear facilities.


The overall objectives of this workshop were:

  • to provide attendees with a better understanding of the benefits of a stronger coordination between nuclear safety and nuclear security;
  • To identify nuclear safety and nuclear security interfaces and review the role of various stakeholders, in particular nuclear operators and regulators, in effectively managing these interfaces;
  • To identify challenges, gaps and good practices in bringing the two disciplines closer;
  • To strengthen nuclear security and nuclear safety by encouraging and facilitating sharing of operational experience and the learning from respective practices and experiences.

The workshop addressed the following topics:

  • Nuclear safety and security interfaces
  • The benefits for nuclear safety and for nuclear security of strengthened coordination
  • International recommendations and guidance for managing the nuclear safety and security interfaces
  • National experiences in coordinating and implementing nuclear safety and nuclear security regulatory requirements
  • Nuclear operators experience in managing nuclear safety and security interfaces, including governance arrangements, capacity building, culture, sabotage prevention, exercises, emergency preparedness and response, and continuous improvement processes
  • Addressing nuclear safety and security interfaces from the design phase
  • Exploring the specific roles of selected internal (e.g. HR department) and external (e.g. the public) stakeholders in strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear security coordination
  • Learning from other sectors, such as the aviation industry
  • Identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement


The workshop was open to a group of 60 participants. WINS, in coordination with US DOE, was responsible for the selection of the participants. WINS is promoting gender parity in its events and female delegates were strongly encouraged to apply.

WINS welcomed applications from both safety and security specialists from the following organisations:

  • Nuclear operators
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Law enforcement agencies and emergency responders
  • Policy makers and other government officials
  • Academics/researchers
  • Industry groups such as NEI, WANO/INPO and WNA
  • International organisations

Relevant IAEA Divisions were invited to share their experience in developing international recommendations and guidance for managing safety and security interfaces and facilitating a better coordination.

The scope of the event covered the safety and security of all nuclear facilities, but discussions and case studies had a strong focus on nuclear power plants. Off-site transport matters were not discussed.


The workshop was held online on 16-18 November 2021. Each live session was conducted from 2:00 pm – 5:15 pm CET (Vienna time).

The workshop was conducted in English only. It was professionally facilitated and delivered online using Zoom or a similar platform. Pre-recorded materials were available to support the preparation of the workshop. The live sessions were recorded. The workshop materials are available on the WINS website after the workshop.

WINS provided participants the opportunity to interact amongst themselves and with the subject matter experts to exchange their thoughts and professional experiences on the topic.

Pre-recorded presentations

Management of the interfaces between safety and nuclear security by Kristof Horvath, IAEA  - View presentation

Aviation Safety and Security Reconciliation by Erin Bidwell, LAM LHA - View presentation

Coupling Safety, Security and Operator Actions at Nuclear Power Plants by Jim Raines, ARES Security - View presentation

Break-out groups (Session III on 17 November 2021)

Participants were to select and attend one of the following groups:

Sabotage prevention (Commie Byrum, ORNL, USA)

Management of the interface between Nuclear Safety and Security for nuclear facilities,” efforts to ensure the achievement of acceptable levels of safety and security for nuclear facilitates are both motivated by the same ultimate goal, i.e., “to protect individuals, the public, and the environment from harmful effects of ionizing radiation.” The potential for acts of sabotage resulting in radiological consequences at levels that negatively impact continued facility operation and public safety is one area where the interface between safety and security should be analyzed. Security “fixes” for postulated sabotage scenarios can be resource intensive and, at the same time, disruptive to safe facility operations. Consequently, any effort to address the potential for activities at a nuclear facility to be compromised by an act of sabotage must concurrently consider and avoid impacting facility safety. This discussion will consider some of the evaluation attributes at the safety-security interface that must be addressed to ensure adequate levels of nuclear safety and security are maintained in nuclear fuel cycle facilities.

Emergency preparedness and response, including joint exercises (Neil Carrick, Sellafield, UK)

Integrating the safety and security disciplines at nuclear facilities is arguably important. This presentation will give an overview of why this is the case, what Sellafield does to integrate their safety and security arrangements and how Sellafield achieve this in practice.

The discussion will show how Sellafield’s arrangements have evolved over time to become cause agnostic utilising all available resources to deliver shared outcomes whether the initiating event is malicious or non-malicious in origin. This process delivers arrangements that are legally compliant, informed by Regulatory Security Assessment Principles and provide value for money for the business.

Cyber security aspects of safety and security interfaces (Nick Howart, ANSTO, Australia)

In this session, Nick Howarth from ANSTO, Australia, will present and review ANSTO's experience in the evolution of its cyber security risk management approach as applied to its nuclear and radiological facilities and its interfaces with nuclear safety and security. Topics of discussion include:

  • Application of IAEA Computer Security Guidance
  • Interaction of IAEA guidance with Australian government regulation and guidance
  • The comparison and contrast of cyber security risk management and safety engineering and “engineered cyber security”
  • Cyber security as asset management
  • Cyber security as capability


Contact Information

   Pierre Legoux

   Anida Celikovic

Key Information

•   Workshop Agenda


•   Facilitation slides



Online Event

Selected Audience