IAEA completes nuclear security mission in Uruguay

25 November 2019

Uruguay has a well-established nuclear security regime that incorporates essential elements of the International Atomic Energy Agency's guidance of the fundamentals of nuclear security, an IAEA team of experts has concluded, following an International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission.

The IAEA says Uruguay has demonstrated its commitment to strengthening its national nuclear security regime (Image: Pixabay)

The IPPAS mission included the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of radioactive material, as well as the regulatory practices in, and coordination between, national organisations involved in nuclear security.

Muhammad Khaliq, head of the Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section of the IAEA's Division of Nuclear Security, said: "By inviting this review mission, the government of Uruguay has demonstrated its commitment to strengthening the national nuclear security regime which will benefit the global nuclear security community."

The team was led by Antonio Perez Baez, senior security inspector at the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council, and included five other experts from Bulgaria, Ukraine, the USA, Venezuela and the IAEA. They met in the capital Montevideo with experts from various ministries and governmental organisations, including the National Defence Inter-ministerial Committee and the National Nuclear Security Committee, as well as the National Regulatory Authority in Radioprotection. As part of the mission, the team visited a radioactive waste repository, a hospital, the Technological Laboratory of Uruguay and a private engineering firm which imports and transports radioactive sources. The team also inspected industrial radiography techniques at the state fuel refinery.

In April 2016, Uruguay ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its incorporation into the country's nuclear security regime was also included in the scope of the mission.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News