Nuclear Security

The National Nuclear Regulator has regulatory requirements for the assurance of nuclear security or physical protection system (PPS) at nuclear installations or associated actions in the Republic of South Africa.

These regulatory requirements are developed in accordance to the National Nuclear Regulator Act (No.47 of 1999), the South African Nuclear Energy Policy (2008), Minimum Information Security Standards (MISS) and IAEA Nuclear Security Series No.7. The IAEA Nuclear Security Series No.7 is the IAEA implementing guide on Nuclear Security Culture which provides characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of individuals, organizations and institutions in supporting the establishment of effective nuclear security.

The compliance assurance programmes in respect of nuclear security or physical protection system is carried out in a manner that maintains the synergistic relationship or co-existence between nuclear safety, security and safeguards.

Established PPS or physical security shall be characterized by active and passive measures designed (i) to safeguard personnel, (ii) to prevent the unauthorized access to equipment, a facility or installation, audit materials, information, documents or electronic data, and (iii) to safeguard all these items against industrial espionage, sabotage, damage and/or theft.

Therefore, licensed or authorized operators shall ensure that security measures provided for handled or processed radioactive material (or nuclear material) and controlled information are in accordance to binding international instruments such as;

  • The Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a political commitment whereupon the IAEA conducts regular verification and technology controls at Member State nuclear installations.
  • IAEA physical protection objectives (GOV/2001/41)
  • The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its Amendment.
  • The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
  • Safeguards agreements and additional protocols.
  • United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006).
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001).

The objectives of the NNR requirements for assuring nuclear security or physical protection system at authorised facilities are,

  • To provide assurance of effective nuclear security or physical protection system at licensed or authorized operators with the objective of limiting risk.
  • To enable cooperative governance between the NNR and associated law enforcement departments such as Department of Energy, South African Police Service and National Intelligence Agency in respect of NNR Act, National Key Points Act (No.102 of 1980) amended in 1985 as Act No.47 and National Strategic Intelligence Act (No.39 of 1994).