NUCLEAR SOURCESRadioactive Sources: Discussing Safety and Security

Published 22 June 2022

Today, radioactive sources are used in many areas including energy, medicine, industry, food and agriculture, research, and in environmental monitoring and protection. “Radioactive sources are all around us, offering immense societal and economic benefits, but they may also pose a risk. Managing these sources well, protects us from accidental radiation exposure and keeps them away from people with malicious intent,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

“Radioactive sources are all around us, offering immense societal and economic benefits, but they may also pose a risk. Managing these sources well, protects us from accidental radiation exposure and keeps them away from people with malicious intent,” said IAEADirector General Rafael Mariano Grossi at the opening of the International Conference on Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources – Accomplishments and Future Endeavours. Through a video message, the Director General welcomed over 600 participants to the five-day gathering, the first of its kind to be held since 2013. You can still register to attend the conference virtually as an observer.

Today, radioactive sources are used in many areas including energy, medicine, industry, food and agriculture, research, and in environmental monitoring and protection. The IAEA supports countries in managing radioactive sources through the IAEA Safety Standards, the IAEA Nuclear Security Series and through the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources — a non-legally binding international instrument issued by the IAEA that provides the international requirements and recommendations to support countries in establishing and strengthening the national regulatory infrastructure. This includes advice on the management and protection of radioactive sources and on the development, harmonization and implementation of national policies, laws and regulations, as well as on cooperation among countries.

“As more people gain access to the huge benefits of radioactive sources, the work you and we are doing becomes even more important,” Grossi told conference participants. Grossi said that 141 countries have so far expressed political commitment to the Code of Conduct, making it the primary international instrument defining the principles for safety and security of radioactive sources.

During the conference, taking place from 20 to 24 June, participants will explore six main topics: safety and security matters of radioactive sources throughout their lifecycle; collaboration among national stakeholders; regulatory control of radioactive sources; sustainability and effectiveness of national infrastructures, including lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic; international cooperation; and preparation and response to radiological incidents and emergencies involving radioactive sources.

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