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What nuclear security arrangements are

What nuclear security arrangements are

Security arrangements concerning nuclear security refer to all such activities that are aimed at protecting nuclear facilities, nuclear materials and radiation sources against unlawful action.

Unlawful action may give rise to significant consequences, including:

  • social
  • financial
  • medical
  • environmental.

Unlawful activity refers to an intentional act or activity that aims at

  • inflicting damage through the use of nuclear material or other radioactive material, or through threatening to use  such material
  • compromising the safe and secure use of a nuclear facility or radiation
  • compromising the integrity of nuclear materials or nuclear waste
  • compromising the integrity of a radiation source
  • creating another direct or indirect threat for nuclear or radiation safety
  • willful causing  of damage to a nuclear facility, nuclear materials or nuclear waste
  • willful causing  of damage to a radiation source.

Security arrangements afford protection not only against intentional acts but also damage resulting from negligence or inconsideration.

Nuclear security arrangements can be divided into preventive actions, detection, delay, and response. Response includes stopping the unlawful activity and minimization and mitigation of consequences.

The operators who are engaged in the use of nuclear energy and radiation and bear the principal responsibility for the implementation of security arrangements. Other parties involved in nuclear security include various competent authorities such as STUK, the Police, the Rescue Services, the Customs, the Border Guard, the Finnish Defense Forces, as well as the authorities responsible for safety and security of nuclear and other radioactive materials in transport. Citizens also play a role in security arrangements. Citizens are expected to be vigilant and report their observations to the authorities if necessary.

Security arrangements include

  • administrative arrangements: organization, management system and safety culture
  • technical arrangements: structures and mechanisms providing delay, detection, assessment and alarm systems and similar equipment
  • functional arrangements: security surveillance by the security organization, on-site response to threats by the operator, and the arrangements that the operator has put in place to ensure response from the authorities (off-site response), as well as the off-site response itself, by competent authorities
  • information security.

Nuclear security is a global issue necessitating international cooperation.

Radiation source Radioactive substance (including radioactive waste) or a radiation appliance
Radiation appliance An appliance that generates radiation electrically or contains radioactive material
Nuclear material Nuclear material and other nuclear items
Nuclear material Special, fissionable material (uranium-233, uranium-235, plutonium-239 or source material (natural uranium, depleted uranium and thorium)
Other nuclear items Certain materials, devices, equipment, data and contracts (e.g. dual use items, sensitive technology, sensitive information)
Place of use of radiation Place of use of a source of radiation or a storage, including a storage for radioactive waste, or a radioactive waste repository


Three S’s (3S): Safety, security, safeguards

In order for the use of nuclear energy and radiation to be socially acceptable, it must be safe, secure,  and under nuclear safeguards. Citizens must be able to trust that authorities and operators ensure safety, security and implementation of nuclear safeguards.

STUK’s mission statement is to protect people, society, the environment and future generations from the adverse effects of radiation. In order to put this mission statement in action, all the three S’s (3S) are required: safety, security and safeguards.