UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Homeland Security

Washington File

02 June 2003

G-8 Works to Block Terrorist Access to Radioactive Materials

(Issues Action Plan June 2 at G-8 Summit in Evian, France) (3280)
The G-8 Summit June 2 released an Action Plan aimed at preventing
terrorists from gaining access to highly radioactive material.
While stating that the utilisation of radioactive sources yields
important benefits in many peaceful applications, the G-8 leaders
agreed to work closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) on steps to strengthen the safety and security of radioactive
sources.
"The G-8 welcomes the initiatives taken by G-8 countries and the
European Union aimed at developing a legal framework for the
registration, administration and control of radioactive sources. This
work, performed in close co-operation with the IAEA, can provide a
valuable input to wider international efforts in this area," the
statement said.
The IAEA "considers that roughly a hundred countries lack the
legislative and regulatory framework needed to control radioactive
sources adequately," the statement said. It said G-8 heads of state
and government appeal to these countries to take steps (where
necessary with the help of the IAEA) to secure all their high level
radioactive sources, and search, locate and secure sources believed
missing.
The G-8 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the
United Kingdom and the United States and Russia.
Following is the text of a G-8 statement on securing radioactive
sources, followed by the text of the action plan:
(begin text)
NON PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION 
SECURING RADIOACTIVE SOURCES 
A G8 STATEMENT
At Kananaskis, we, the Heads of State and Government of the eight
major industrialised democracies and the Representatives of the
European Union, endorsed six principles and launched the Global
Partnership to prevent terrorists or those that harbour them from
gaining access to weapons and materials of mass destruction. Today, at
Evian, in another concrete demonstration of our commitment to theses
principles, we have agreed to improve the security of radioactive
materials. Radioactive sources are found in everyday life and have
beneficial applications in medicine, agriculture, research, and
industry. Certain poorly protected sources pose a real threat because
they could be manipulated by terrorists to construct a radiological
dispersion device or a "dirty bomb". We commit ourselves to employing
high standards that reduce the vulnerability of radioactive sources to
acquisition by terrorists. We urge all countries to take measures to
strengthen regulatory control of high-risk sources within their
territories. In that context, we welcome the initiatives taken by G8
countries and the European Union aimed at developing an appropriate
legal framework to this end.
We welcome the findings of the 2003 Conference on Security of
Radioactive Sources. We also recognise the essential role of the
International Atomic Energy Agency in combating radiological terrorism
and endorse its efforts to establish international standards that
ensure the long term security and control of high-risk radioactive
sources. We have decided to undertake the following actions to
reinforce and complement the IAEA's activities as well as to ensure
the unavailability of radioactive sources to terrorists. The Group of
Eight will:
1. Identify elements of the IAEA's Code of Conduct on the Safety and
Security of Radioactive Sources that are of the greatest relevance to
preventing terrorists or those that harbour them from gaining access
to high-risk radioactive sources.
2. Consider developing recommendations on how those elements could be
applied at the national level. Those elements may include, as
necessary:
2.1. National registers for tracking sources; 
2.2. Programs for recovering orphan sources; 
2.3. National regulations limiting export of high-risk sources to
States that have effective controls;
2.4. Notification requirements to recipient States of exports; 
2.5. National measures to penalise theft or misuse of radioactive
sources;
2.6. National physical protection measures and access controls; and 
2.7. National laws to ensure the safe and secure disposal of high-risk
spent sealed sources.
3. Work towards agreement on and implementation of these
recommendations by the time of our next meeting in 2004.
4. Encourage all countries to strengthen controls on radioactive
sources and observe the Code of Conduct when the revisions to it have
been completed and approved.
5. Enhance international co-operation on locating, recovering, and
securing high-risk radioactive sources.
6. Support and advance the IAEA's programs to improve the security of
radioactive sources, including considering the provision of additional
resources as necessary to the Nuclear Security Fund in order to
promote the implementation of the Code of Conduct and the
recommendations for its application.
7. In conjunction with the IAEA, convene an international conference
in 2005, in France, to further discuss and raise awareness of the
radioactive source problem, and to assess progress in implementing the
findings of the 2003 International Conference on Security of
Radioactive Sources.
8. Continue to work on this issue and will review the implementation
of the plan of action, as set out in the technical annex to this
Statement, at the 2004 G8 Summit.
NON PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION 
SECURING RADIOACTIVE SOURCES 
A G8 ACTION PLAN
1. Background 
The risks associated with radioactive sources have been the subject of
increasing attention for several years now, particularly by the IAEA,
with respect to safety and possible radiological accidents. But 11
September 2001 highlighted the risk posed by the use of certain highly
radioactive sources for malevolent or terrorist purposes, i.e. the
exposure of populations to radiation, or the use of one or more
sources in a radiological dispersion device.
In either case, this could have a major psychological impact on the
population, going well beyond the actual radiological or chemical
consequences produced-which would themselves be limited. Consequently,
the international community must imperatively concern itself with the
question of the security of these sources.
2. G8 approach 
The G8, recognising the vital need to strengthen arrangements for the
prevention of acts of radiological terrorism, desires to give a strong
political impetus to the consideration of this issue. The Evian Summit
provides an occasion for the G8 to express international awareness of
this issue at the highest level, to reaffirm its support for the IAEA
work in this domain, to call on States to mobilise to improve the
safety and security of the sources they produce, possess, use, import
or export, and to develop a medium- and long-term approach aimed at
reinforcing the security of sources and the mechanisms for
co-operation between States.
The G8 welcomes the initiatives taken by G8 countries and the European
Union aimed at developing a legal framework for the registration,
administration and control of radioactive sources. This work,
performed in close co-operation with the IAEA, can provide a valuable
input to wider international efforts in this area.
The utilisation of radioactive sources yields important benefits in
many peaceful applications (including medicine, agriculture, the
environment, industry, and so forth). Conscious of the vulnerability
of many States with regard to the control and monitoring of sources
used in these applications, the G8 agreed on the following approach to
strengthen the safety and security of radioactive sources:
2.1 Support of the IAEA work 
The Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources
represents an essential feature of the IAEA work. The G8 encourages as
many States as possible to observe the principles contained in the
Code when the revisions to it have been completed and approved, with a
view to improving national systems for the control of sources. The G8
lends its political support to the Agency for the implementation of
its action in this field. It undertakes to promote the application of
the Code of Conduct, collectively or individually, when the revisions
to the Code have been completed and approved, and to encourage States
to request the assistance of the Agency in this sphere (see Document
1-Support of the IAEA work).
2.2 Support for the most vulnerable States 
The G8 States are mobilising individually or in partnership, notably
with the IAEA, to assist the most vulnerable States in taking steps to
account and securely manage all high-level radioactive sources in
their territory, including the search for and securing of sources no
longer under regulatory control. They call on the other producers or
exporters of highly radioactive sources to do likewise. They will
exchange information and consult to review progress achieved in this
sphere.
2.3 Mechanisms for the control of radioactive sources 
The G8 undertakes to carry out a long term review of the means to
strengthen control over radioactive sources and international
co-operation in this sphere. The following avenues in particular are
being explored:
2.3.1 Political commitments by States producing, possessing, using,
importing or exporting radioactive sources to uphold the "principles
of safe and secure management of radioactive sources", inspired by the
relevant sections of the IAEA Code of Conduct (see Document
2-Political commitment by States producing, exporting and holding
radioactive sources).
2.3.2 Identification of the elements of the completed Code of Conduct
that are of the greatest relevance in preventing terrorism and
encouragement to implement them world-wide. These may include national
registers for radioactive sources, national measures to penalise thief
or misuse of such sources and national physical protection and access
control measures (see Document 3-Recommendations to States on the
security of radioactive sources).
2.4  International conference on radioactive sources 
The G8 welcomes the success of the International Conference on
Security of Radioactive Sources held in Vienna on 11-13 March of this
year, which emphasised in its findings the necessity of improving the
control and security of radioactive sources at the national level and
called for international initiatives in this sphere.
It supports the proposal by France to hold in France, in the first
half of 2005, the fourth international conference on this topic and to
include both the safety and the security aspects of radioactive
sources, in order to review the actions undertaken and to map out
perspectives for the future (see Document 4-International Conference
on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources). This conference
will also serve to support the actions already in progress (e.g. IAEA
programmes, and bilateral and multilateral co-operation), encouraging
all national and international players in their chosen course.
Document 1
Support of the IAEA work
The G8 reaffirms its support for the actions undertaken by the IAEA in
favour of the safety and security of radioactive sources, and declares
its readiness to co-operate with the Agency on this issue.
More specifically, 
1. The G8 contributes financially to the Agency's Nuclear Security
Fund and is co-operating with the Agency through contributions in
kind, within the framework of the programme for protection against
nuclear and radiological terrorism, via inter alia the secondment of
experts, training programmes, evaluation on request of national
systems for the control of sources, participation in campaigns for the
detection and securing of uncontrolled sources, and in technical
co-operation projects for the supply of equipment for the detection of
illegal movements of radioactive sources (as part of the fight against
the illicit trafficking in radioactive materials).
2. The G8 members will promote - individually and collectively - the
Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources when
the revisions to it have been completed and approved, and invite
States to work through the Agency for its application.
3. The G8 will consider requests for assistance from the Agency in
response to a radiological accident or malevolent act, to secure the
incriminated source(s) and, where necessary, to treat persons who have
been radiated by these sources. It will also consider requests for
assistance, as needed, for preventive actions (e.g. the search for and
securing of sources).
4. The G8 will consider supplying to the IAEA the information at its
disposal concerning particular emergency situations involving a
radioactive source, or information liable to assist the Agency in
dealing with such emergency situations where so requested. It will
also consider similar request from non IAEA members.
Document 2
Political commitments by States producing, exporting and holding
radioactive sources
1. Radioactive sources are used in a wide range of applications,
including agriculture, the environment, industry, medicine, research
and others. There are estimated to be several million radioactive
sources of all kinds and sizes disseminated around the world.
The great majority of these sources present no serious threat, even if
they should be handled with the customary caution: this notably
applies to smoke detectors or instrument calibration sources. Certain
sources, on the other hand, call for strict safety and security
measures owing to their highly radioactive nature. The main objectives
are to prevent malevolent acts (theft, sabotage, or transformation
into a radiological dispersion device) and avoid radiological
accidents.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) considers that roughly a
hundred countries lack the legislative and regulatory framework needed
to control radioactive sources adequately.
2. The G8 Heads of State and Government appeal to the international
community of States, calling upon them to:
2.1. Account for the sources in their possession on their territory,
2.2. Take steps (where necessary with the assistance of the IAEA) to
secure all high level radioactive sources,
2.3. Search for, locate and secure sources believed missing ("orphan"
sources).
This short and medium-term approach being conducted by States at the
national level may be accompanied by international co-operation aimed
at the most vulnerable States. The work performed by G8 countries and
the European Union aimed at developing, in close co-operation with the
IAEA, a legal framework for the registration, administration and
control of radioactive sources can provide a valuable input to wider
international efforts in this area.
3. International assistance is being intensified under the auspices of
the IAEA. This may take the following forms, and in particular:
3.1. Campaigns to search for and locate orphan sources, based on
information gathered locally or from the initial producer and/or
exporter of these sources,
3.2. Securing these sources on-site and, in extreme circumstances,
evacuating them to specialised facilities,
3.3. Install appropriate instruments at border crossings and strategic
points which aim to detect illegal movements of radioactive materials.
4. These assistance missions, which are liable to take place over an
extended period of time, may be implemented with the aid of
international financing (via the G8 Global Partnership, the IAEA
Nuclear Security Fund, European or national funding, etc).
5. The States that produce and distribute radioactive sources have a
special responsibility with regard to the safety and security of these
sources. The G8 initially, and subsequently the other producer and
exporting States as well, will give consideration to the type and
nature of commitment the radioactive source producer and/or exporting
States might enter into.
This commitment could take the form of an individual declaration by
these States to the IAEA, in which they affirm their determination to
uphold the "principles of safe and secure management of radioactive
sources".
Document 3
Recommendations to States on the security of radioactive sources
1. The IAEA Code of Conduct contains points contributing to the safety
or the security of radioactive sources, or both. In its findings, the
International Conference in Vienna, in March 2003, also identified
points that ought to help strengthen the security of radioactive
sources and render terrorist access to these sources more difficult.
The G8 proposes that these points be considered by States in
implementing control and monitoring systems within their territory.
2. The G8 will direct a working group to identify those elements of
the IAEA Code of Conduct that are of greatest relevance to prevent
terrorists from gaining access to radioactive sources and to develop
recommendations for national consideration on the implementation of
those elements, in close consultation with the IAEA. These
recommendations will take into account the findings of the 2003
International Conference on Security of Radioactive Sources and could
consider addressing, in particular, the following:
2.1. Establishing a national register to track sources throughout
their life-cycle,
2.2. Setting up an outline for creating a national mechanism for the
recovery and securing of "orphan" or poorly-controlled sources within
their national territory,
2.3. Establishing a series of guidelines with respect to the control
of exports of sources, conditions attaching to them, and mechanisms
(e.g. notifications) for monitoring these exports,
2.4. Developing national measures as necessary to combat malevolent
acts involving radioactive sources,
2.5. Identifying possible measures to be taken by the State in order
to safeguard and restrict access to sources,
2.6. Identifying measures that the State could take regarding the
conditioning and/or encouraging the recycling of sources at the end of
their life,
2.7. Putting in place a system which aims to detect the passage of
radioactive sources at strategic points such as border crossings.
Document 4
International Conference on the Safety and the Security of Radioactive
Sources
1. The international Conference on Security of Radioactive Sources
held in Vienna in March 2003, co-chaired by Russia and the United
States, set in motion a process for reinforcing and accelerating
international co-operation in the field of safety and security of
radioactive sources, and more especially from the standpoint of
security. But it also follows on from the previous international
conferences on safety and security held in Dijon (France) in 1998 and
in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 2001.
2. Over the next two years, it would be desirable to consolidate the
political impetus given to this issue in 2003 (through the Vienna
Conference in March and the Evian Summit in June). A progress report
should be drawn up on action taken to secure radioactive sources by:
2.1. The competent international organisations, e.g. the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Customs Organisation (WCO),
Interpol, the European Commission, etc.,
2.2. States, at both national as well as bilateral and multilateral
levels: safety and/or security authorities, export control bodies,
customs administration, public or private agencies or enterprises with
expertise in the field of radioactive sources (management, detection,
search and location, securing, etc).
3. Consultations should be conducted, after the Evian Summit, with the
main States concerned in order to give substance to the initiatives
launched. In particular, the proposals aimed at making sources more
secure need to be refined: these could include inter alia
recommendations made on the basis of measures contained in the IAEA
Code of Conduct and of the findings of the March 2003 International
Conference. Consideration will also be given to the need to launch
campaigns to secure poorly-controlled radioactive sources, and to
search for, locate and secure "orphan" radioactive sources, with
international funding (mainly via the G8 Global Partnership and the
IAEA Nuclear Security Fund). National expert groups could meet to
discuss these themes at the IAEA in the second half of 2003 and in
2004.
4. France will organise a fourth conference in the first half of 2005,
which will draw up a progress report on the process begun in 2003.
This conference could work according to the following guidelines:
4.1. Consolidating the IAEA's international efforts with regard to
radioactive sources (via its Action Plan, Code of Conduct, assistance
in the detection of illicit trafficking in radioactive materials,
campaigns to locate orphan sources, and so on), and States in their
national initiatives, as well as supporting bilateral and multilateral
co-operative ventures,
4.2. Evaluating  the main projects in progress, 
4.3. Preparing a provisional assessment of the campaigns to secure
poorly-controlled sources (covering safety and security aspects), and
campaigns to search for, locate and secure orphan sources.
4.4. This conference would be attended by all of the aforementioned
operational actors concerned by this issue.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list