Finland has reinforced its nuclear security regime, says IAEA

17 June 2022

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has completed a follow-up nuclear security advisory mission to Finland. The International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission included a review of the legislative and regulatory framework for the physical protection of nuclear material and associated facilities and activities.

Finland's Loviisa plant (Image: Fortum)

IPPAS missions are intended to assist IAEA member states in strengthening their national nuclear security regime, providing advice from peers on implementing international instruments and IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive materials and facilities. They can be conducted on both a nationwide and facility-specific basis.

The latest mission was carried out at the request of the Finnish government and hosted by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK). Conducted from 6 to 17 June, it was the third such mission in Finland, which invited the first IPPAS mission in 2009 and a follow-up in 2012.

The mission was led by Bernard Stauffer, Head of Nuclear & Cyber Security Section of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, and included experts from Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, as well as one IAEA staff member.

The mission reviewed information and computer security arrangements; regulatory practices in licensing, inspections and enforcement; coordination between stakeholders involved in nuclear security; and the interface between nuclear material accounting and control and nuclear safety. The team also reviewed the country's implementation of the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its Amendment, which Finland accepted in 2011.

As part of the mission, the IPPAS team met in Helsinki with senior officials from STUK, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Interior, Finnish Customs, Finnish Border Guard, the National Police Board and Finnish Security and Intelligence Service. The team also observed nuclear security measures in place at the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant and at Turku University Hospital Laboratory.

The IPPAS team concluded that Finland has further strengthened its nuclear security capabilities, "confirming the country's well-established nuclear security regime". The team provided recommendations and suggestions to support Finland in enhancing and sustaining nuclear security. Good practices were identified in the country's nuclear security regime that can serve as examples to other IAEA Member States to help strengthen their nuclear security activities.

"The team's findings show that since previous missions Finland has made further strides in nuclear security," said Heather Looney, Head of the Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section of the IAEA's Division of Nuclear Security. "The arrangements Finland has in place for nuclear security are aligned with the IAEA nuclear security guidance."

STUK Director General Petteri Tiippana noted, "Finland is committed to continuous improvement in its nuclear safety and security regime. The findings provided by the experts of the IPPAS team are important and will be used to enhance the nuclear security regime during the process to comprehensively revise Finnish nuclear related legislation."

Finland has five nuclear reactors - two at Loviisa and three at Olkiluoto - generating about one-third of its electricity. Its first commercial nuclear power reactor - Loviisa unit 1 - began operating in 1977.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News