IAEA completes nuclear security mission in Jordan

6 July 2022

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ) team has completed a 10-day nuclear security mission in Jordan. The team said Jordan had made progress in strengthening nuclear security infrastructure set up to prevent and detect nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control. It encouraged Jordan to further improve its nuclear security capabilities.

The mission was carried out at the request of the Jordan government and hosted by the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC), the national nuclear regulator. The mission the first of its kind to Jordan, was conducted in a new format based on revised INSServ guidelines published by the IAEA in May 2019. These established a more flexible approach, which can be tailored to accommodate individual national contexts.

The team was led by Frederic Mariotte, Nuclear Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna, and included five other experts from Argentina, Japan, Malaysia, the USA, and the IAEA. It reviewed Jordan’s legislative and regulatory arrangements for nuclear security, the roles and responsibilities of the competent authority for nuclear security, the coordination between stakeholders, and arrangements for national nuclear security detection and response systems.

The INSServ experts met with senior officials from the National Nuclear Security Committee, the coordinating body for all competent authorities with a role in Jordan’s nuclear security, as well as from ministries and other governmental bodies. They also conducted interviews with front line officers and observed detection operations at an airport, a land border crossing, and a seaport. The mission included a visit to the National Communication System and Emergency and Monitoring Centre to follow up on Jordan’s nuclear security response framework.

The team observed that Jordan had made a significant progress in strengthening its nuclear security capabilities, including during major public events such as sporting events. It provided recommendations and suggestions to support Jordan in further enhancing and sustaining nuclear security.

Good practices identified included the establishment of the National Centre for Nuclear and Radiological Security that can continuously review and update the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security relevant to nuclear and other radioactive material reported out of regulatory control.

“By requesting an INSServ mission, Jordan has demonstrated its openness to receive an assessment of the country’s capabilities and practices in relevant parts of nuclear security,” said Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security. “Having in place radiation detection infrastructure and being able to assess alarms and alerts about material that has been reported as being out of regulatory control, as well as of material that is lost, missing or stolen, is essential part of work in this area”.

“We are glad to receive recommendations from this independent evaluation by internationally recognized experts so that we can follow up and improve our nuclear security capabilities”, said Luai Al Kiswani, Director of Jordan’s Nuclear Security, Energy & Minerals Regulatory Commission.

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