An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts completed today a nuclear security advisory mission in Paraguay, which was carried out at the request of its Government.
The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission included the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of radioactive material and facilities, as well as regulatory practices and coordination among organizations involved in nuclear security. In March 2016, Paraguay ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), and its incorporation into the country’s nuclear security regime was also included in the scope of the mission.
The team observed that Paraguay has established a nuclear security regime with essential elements of the IAEA’s guidance on the fundamentals of nuclear security. The team offered recommendations and suggestions to support Paraguay in further enhancing and sustaining nuclear security. Good practices were identified that can serve as examples to other IAEA Member States to help strengthen their nuclear security activities.
The team was led by Antonio Perez Baez, Senior Security Inspector at the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council, and included five other experts from Argentina, Peru, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and the IAEA. They met in the capital Asuncion with officials from the Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARRN), as well as with representatives of other relevant ministries and governmental organizations, including the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, National Police, Customs and Atomic Energy Commission. As part of the review, the team visited five facilities where high activity radioactive sources are in use or in storage.
“The IPPAS team compared Paraguay’s nuclear security regime with international instruments in this area, as well as with IAEA nuclear security guidance,” Muhammad Khaliq, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section, said during the closing of the mission. “By hosting the IPPAS mission and following up on its findings, Paraguay is showing its commitment to enhancing nuclear security, both in the country and globally.”
“The advice provided by the IPPAS team will facilitate Paraguay’s efforts in establishing priorities and making further enhancement of nuclear security,” said Mario José Gutiérrez Simón, Minister and Executive Secretary of the ARRN. “The Government of Paraguay looks forward to timely implementation of the team’s recommendations and suggestions and to strengthen nuclear security globally, in close cooperation with the IAEA.”
The mission was the 90th IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 1995.
IPPAS missions are intended to assist States in strengthening their national nuclear security regime. The missions provide peer advice on implementing international instruments, along with IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities.
During missions, a team of international experts observes a nation’s system of physical protection, compares it with international good practices and makes recommendations for improvement. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nationwide and facility-specific basis.