IAEA unveils nuclear security training centre

04 October 2023

The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) new Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre allows participants to learn about the physical protection of nuclear and other radioactive material, as well as detection and response to criminal acts involving nuclear material and facilities.

Representatives of 45 countries attended the opening (Image: IAEA)

Representatives of 45 countries attended the opening ceremony at the 2000 square-metre facility at the agency's Seibersdorf laboratories near Vienna, Austria, paid for by EUR18 million (USD18.9 million) in extra funding from 15 donors and in-kind contributions. Its construction follows what the IAEA says has been an increase in requests for training in nuclear security in recent years, especially since the entering into force in 2016 of the Amendment of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said: "Nuclear security is one of the most important areas of our work to make sure that nuclear material never falls into the wrong hands. The international nuclear security centre of excellence is where experts on nuclear security and the physical protection of nuclear material from all over the world will be trained to hone their skills. We are giving countries the tools to do nuclear better, safer and in a secure way."

The centre, which welcomes its first trainees next week, is initially offering 23 different training courses, ranging from the 5-day Basic use and maintenance of handheld detection instruments to the 20-day course Hands-on training on physical protection equipment installation, integration, operation and maintenance.

The visitors saw demonstrations of some of the training (Image: IAEA)

(Image: IAEA)

The new centre has simulated environments, virtual reality tools and advanced software and will provide training on information and computer security, nuclear forensics and major public events as well as hands-on practice on security systems protecting nuclear facilities.

Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security, said: "By building this new centre, the IAEA can offer unique training activities to address existing gaps using specialised up-to-date equipment, computer-based simulation tools and advanced training methods."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News