Nuclear Industry Steering Group for Security

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

PURPOSE OF THE STEERING GROUP

  1. Why was this new steering group formed?
    Four Nuclear Security Summits (NSS) took place between 2010 and 2016. The Summits brought over 50 heads of State and Government together to discuss ways to increase nuclear security and led to many important commitments and actions across the globe. Concurrent to the NSS, four Nuclear Industry Summits (NIS) also took place that brought leaders of industry together to discuss the contributions they could make to enhance the implementation of nuclear security.  Members of the former board of advisers of the 2016 NIS have decided to establish a Nuclear Industry Steering Group for Security (NISGS) to continue industry’s efforts to support this initiative.
  2. Nuclear Security is a State responsibility. Why is industry getting involved?
    Nuclear security is a State’s overall responsibility as an integral part of its national security regime, and the nuclear industry has an important role to play in the implementation of the security arrangements. This role and responsibility are explicitly recognised in IAEA guidance to its Member States and in the recently ratified Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
  3. Does the creation of this steering group mean that security at nuclear facilities is inadequate?
    No, but in common with every other management process there are lessons to be learned from the sharing of experiences and good practices. The NISGS will identify ways in which security arrangements can be implemented more effectively and efficiently and encourage dialogue between the nuclear industry and intergovernmental organisations.
  4. Does the steering group have a political agenda?
    No. It has been formed specifically to address organisational and managerial aspects of security implementation.
  5. Does the steering group have a position on the choice of nuclear technology or fuel cycle options?
    No. It recognises, however, that in accordance with IAEA guidance, different nuclear and other radioactive materials and associated facilities need appropriate levels of security.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE STEERING GROUP

  1. Which organisations are members of the steering group?
    The NISGS includes former members of the NIS2016 Board of Advisors, NIS Working Groups and Committees (see www.nis2016.org). Representatives from other nuclear industries and related organisations are being actively encouraged to join the Group so that it has a comprehensive representation.
  2. How do organisations join the steering group and what are the selection criteria?
    Organisations can contact info@nisgs.org for further information and indicate their interest in joining the group. Membership is for organisations (not individuals) that share the objectives of the NISGS and which have a strong link with the nuclear sector.
  3. Who funds the steering group?
    The NISGS is self-funded at present and members cover their own costs of participation.
  4. Do organisations have to pay to be a member of the steering group?
    See Answer (8)
  5. How is the steering group structured?
    The NISGS will comprise Members and a Board.
  6. Can non-Industry organisations join the steering group?
    The NISGS seeks to engage actively with other important stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, to achieve their mutual goal of sustainably enhancing nuclear security across the globe. Applications for membership are welcome from relevant non-industry organisations.

RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER ORGANISATIONS

  1. What does the IAEA think about this new steering group?
    The Director General of the IAEA attended the Nuclear Industry Summit meeting in March 2016 and noted in his keynote speech: “The IAEA greatly values our cooperation with the nuclear industry.” A key objective of the NISGS is to build on that cooperation and establish a closer working relationship with the IAEA and other relevant organisations.
  2. What is the relationship of the steering group with organisations such as WANO, the WNA and WINS?
    WANO and WNA are nuclear industry associations that undertake important work. WANO has agreed to have observer status at the meetings, whenever WANO is able to do so, but will not play any formal role. The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) has agreed to provide logistical support to the NISGS because of its extensive experience in nuclear security issues, and location in Vienna, where the IAEA is based.

WORK PROGRAMME OF THE STEERING GROUP

  1. What subjects will the steering group address and how will this be done?
    The NISGS will work to:
    • Turn the commitments made during the Nuclear Industry Summits into sustainable and value-added security enhancements through industry participation and engagement in the pertinent Action Plans wherever possible. 
    • Achieve operational excellence for security by supporting organisations that use nuclear and other radioactive material.
    • Strengthen partnerships between industry and international organisations such as the IAEA.

    It is envisaged that a number of Working Groups will be established to continue the work of the NIS. These will include:

    • Cyber Security
    • Facility and Transport Security Management
    • Effective security of radioactive sources used in industry
    • Corporate Governance and Enhancing Stakeholder and Public Confidence
    • HEU minimisation, including the development of new technologies that can support such minimisation
  2. Will the steering group address the security of radioactive materials used by sectors other than the nuclear industry?
    Yes. This is within the scope of the NISGS’s work programme.
  3. Will the steering group publish reports on its activities?
    The NISGS will publish an Annual Report on its activities and achievements.
  4. Will the steering group share classified information?
    No. Previous experience has demonstrated that it is fully possible to discuss improved management practices without disclosing classified information
  5. Has the Steering Group considered how to address anti-trust legislation or competition law requirements and not to discuss commercially sensitive issues?
    It is a requirement of all Members of the NISGS that commercially sensitive information is not discussed or exchanged at its meetings. Commercially sensitive information includes information about past, current or future:
    • Prices and pricing elements (e.g., actual prices, discounts, rebates, calculation methods), pricing strategy, planned price changes (increases or reductions), etc.;
    • Sales revenue, sales volumes (incl. market shares), sales territories, order position, marketing and distribution strategies, market entry, customer lists, sales to specific customers, the content of sales agreements, terms of sales, etc.;
    • Offers, bids planned or made (including technical specifications and Terms & Conditions), including whether or not ABB (or conversely a competitor) will submit or has submitted a bid, etc.;
    • Purchases from specific suppliers, purchase volumes, purchase prices, the content of purchase agreements, etc.;
    • Cost structures (R&D, production & distribution), profit margins, production capacity, capacity utilization, output, or investments in production capacity, etc.;
    • R&D plans & their results, other investments, etc.