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Side Event on Developing a Comprehensive Approach towards Cs-137 Security

04 Dec 2018 Vienna, Austria
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Side Event on Developing a Comprehensive Approach towards Cs-137 Security

WINS held a side-event on the margins of the IAEA International Conference on the Security of radioactive Material: The Way Forward for Prevention and Detection to better understand the different risk management options and the responsibilities of various stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive approach towards Cs-137 security.

The side-event took place on 4 December 2018 from 12:45 to 13:45 in VIC, M-Building, Board Room A.


Developing a comprehensive and sustainable approach to radiological security requires the proper management of sources throughout their lifecycle—from the moment the sources are being chosen and the security systems that protect them are being designed to proper disposal at the end of their lifecycle. To increase resilience, the total amount of material in circulation must be decreased, strict control over the sources in use must be enforced, a strong security culture must be fostered, and careful planning and exercising must take place to ensure the response is effective if an event occurs. An important way to reduce material in circulation is to replace radioactive sources whenever possible with alternative technologies. And of course, a strong legislative and regulatory framework, security regulations, and incentives to adopt alternative technologies whenever feasible play a fundamental role.

Objectives of the Side event

The event addressed risk mitigation efforts and approaches for enhancing the security of IAEA category 1-2 Cs-137-based devices in medical, research and industrial applications. It covered both the option to enhance the physical security of these devices (including the installation of in-device delay mechanisms and coordination with response agencies to ensure material containment) and the opportunity to replace them with technologies (such as x-ray) that do not involve radioactive sources and remove the disused source-based device.

The side event reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders, in particular end-users and regulators, and provided an opportunity to identify gaps and opportunities for enhancing their contributions to Cs-137 security or for facilitating the selection and adoption of suitable alternative technologies. Finally, it briefly covered issues related to the removal and disposal of disused Cs-137 radioactive sources.

Key Questions Addressed

Key questions addressed during the side event included:

  • What is the current use of Cs-137 and short-term evolution?
  • What would be the potential consequences of an incident involving these sources? What are the threats to these sources?
  • What risk management options do we have?
  • What is the role of different stakeholders in managing the risk?
  • What have we learnt from strengthening the security of Cs-137 sources? What are prerequisites to sustainable and resilient security arrangements?
  • Can we replace Cs-137 sources by nonisotopic alternatives? What experience did we gain from those who have adopted alternative technologies?
  • What are the options to manage disused CS-137 sources? Do we have safe and secure disposal routes?


Opening remarks:
Pierre Legoux, WINS

Keynote speaker:
Gus Potter, SNL, USA: Caesium Risk Overview

Panel of experts:
Sorin Repanovici, CNCAN, Romania: Containment/Security Strategy

Zunaide Kayun, Ministry of Health, Malaysia: Regulator Perspective on Cesium Security Alternative Technology Replacement Considerations

Ken Smith, Office of the President, University of California, USA: Medical End-User Alternative Technology Considerations

Julian Powe, The Joules Effect, UK

Targeted Audience

The side event was open to all participants in the IAEA Conference on the Security of Radioactive Material. As a priority, it targeted a group of 50 international specialists with demonstrated experience in high activity Cs-137 radioactive source management, radiological security, licensing and other regulatory and operational activities. It also targeted specialists in transport, alternative technologies and disused sources management.

Participants had the opportunity to engage in dialogue and share their experiences and lessons learned from either strengthening the security of Cs-137-based devices or from replacing them with non-radioisotopic devices. They represented end users, industry, regulatory authorities, professional associations, international organisations, security vendors and consultants.

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