Nuclear Security and Waste Management
Nuclear security is one of the most important global topics. It generally discusses the techniques, methods, tools and practices used to certify the security of radioactive/nuclear material from unauthorized access and using it with malicious intentions. SLAEB is the main technical and scientific entity in nuclear security regime of the country.
Nuclear Security and Safety
Nuclear security and safety are two aspects entangled with each other.
- Nuclear Safety: Assuring the safety of people and environment from the effects of radioactive/nuclear material
- Nuclear Security: Securing radioactive/nuclear material, technology and methodologies from unwarranted access and usage
Nuclear security operates in three different levels and SLAEB serves the country in each level as mentioned in the table. Activities performed by RPTS are highlighted. RPTS introduces international guidelines and practices that are published in IAEA Nuclear Security Series (NSS) publications.
- Prevention: Preventing the happening of nuclear security related incidents beforehand by formulating regulations (deterrence), implementing security systems and promoting best practices.
- Detection: Detecting a radioactive/nuclear material in an event of nuclear security
- Response: Actions taken after the detection/declaration of a nuclear security event
Human Resource Development for Nuclear Security and Safety
CBRN threats or the malicious acts committed by using either Chemical, Biological, Radioactive or Nuclear agent/material has emerged in last few decades. Therefore, it is compulsory to improve the knowledge and understanding about security measures to guarantee the safety of people from possible CBRN threats.
RPTS provide expert assistance to train front-line officers (FLOs), first responders for nuclear and radiation security in an event of nuclear security or CBRN threat.
Develop Detection Capabilities and Strategies of the Country
In order to enhance the detection capabilities of the country, state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies are needed to be implemented. RPTS take the lead in providing these technologies with the assistance from international organizations. Especially, procurement of nuclear security instruments, development of alarm assessment procedures and instrumentation training programs are being delivered for the related national organizations.
Coordinated Researches on Nuclear Security
Coordinated Researches are being carried out with the international and national counterparts (Sri Lanka Customs, IAEA, member states of IAEA) to improve the nuclear security status of the country. Currently, two international CRPs are in process.
- J02005: Improved assessment of initial alarms from radiation detection instruments (implemented and currently at the final phase).
- J02012: Advancing Radiation Detection Equipment for Detecting Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control.
Radioactive Waste Management Programme
Radioactive material that cannot be further used for its intended use due to various reasons such as equipment malfunction, decay or expiration of the technique can still be harmful to the environment and people. Hence, strict and robust measures have been imposed on the security of them. These radioactive wastes must be conditioned, documented, stored and secured as per the national & international recommendations and regulations.
RPTS also develops, maintains and operates the Central Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS) Storage Facility of Sri Lanka. It is the only waste/disused radioactive sources storage in the country with regulatory authorization.
Long-lived radioactive waste generated by various radioactive material users (hospitals, industrial institutions and research institutes) are accepted by the SLAEB for conditioning, temporary/permanent storage and repatriation.
Also, detained radioactive material without proper legal authorization (material out of regulatory control; MORCs) are being temporary stored in CDSRS facility until repatriation.
Developing technical and physical capabilities to maintain the Central Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS) storage. Management, conditioning and safe storage of Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources is being done by RPTS.
The charges for accepting the radioactive material is dependent upon the size and category. The radioactive material categorization is being done according to the isotope and activity of the material. If a DSRS is accepted, SLAEB is responsible for conditioning & disposing or repatriation of DSRS. Therefore, when accepting DSRS to long-term storage, the cost for conditioning & disposing or repatriation should be considered in addition to the DSRS storing cost.
A scheme for charges is developed based on the category of sources. Actual pricing can be obtained after an inspection.