As chair of the Nuclear Security and Physical Protection (NSPP) technical division of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), USA Nuclear’s Joe Rivers conducts industry-leading technical workshops on risk-informing security. These workshops are meant to better prepare nuclear technology professionals to better protect nuclear infrastructure. Across the series, key conclusions have emerged.
A recurring conclusion from several of the workshops has been the need to quantify the likelihood of attack. This task has been met with some resistance in the security community, as the comparison between safety and security risks is difficult to assess. Safety uses risk and security uses conditional risk.
This last November, a Joint Committee on Nuclear Risk Management (JCNRM) working group, supported by the INMM NSPP technical division, gathered together in a three-day virtual workshop to address the issue. Approximately 20 panelists and over 100 participants from around the world attempted to better draw comparisons between safety and security risk. Panelists represented a broad spectrum of experts in the safety and security professional communities, including representatives from government, industry, national laboratories, and non-governmental organizations.
Panelists and participants at the event tended to agree that such a quantification would be useful to the nuclear industry and might even be possible to achieve, given cautions for development and use. But the subject is not concluded yet. This effort will be continued with the backing of the INMM and the JCNRM, in coordination with the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and with the support of commercial nuclear utilities. USA Nuclear looks forward to being at the forefront of these discussions and tackling new frontiers in nuclear safety and security.