Pre-course on Radiation and Nuclear Security Fundamentals
On 17-19 May 2022, UNICRI held the first, hybrid “Pre-course on Radiation and Nuclear (RN) Security Fundamentals” with the participation of experts in charge of countering radiological and nuclear trafficking in the Kingdom of Cambodia and in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
The event was conducted within the framework of the project CONTACT – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear material in the Southeast Asia – funded by Global Affairs Canada.
The organization of the event was facilitated by the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) National Focal Points, namely Major Tan Lyheng for the Kingdom of Cambodia, and by Ms. Venephet Philathong for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
The pre-course was developed and implemented with the aim of enhancing national experts’ baseline knowledge of nuclear security and radiation-related topics fundamentals before proceeding with the project’s key capacity building activities that include Train-The-Trainers sessions.
A total of 20 experts from different agencies in the two countries, including from the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Foreign Affairs, Mines and Energy, Public Security, Finance, Industry and Commerce, Education and Sport, attended the pre-course, in addition to experts from the Customs, Counter-Terrorism and National CBRN Secretariats. The diversity of the experts’ technical backgrounds that include radiological and nuclear safety, disaster and recovery, law enforcement, investigations, and forensics have contributed to enriching the discussions on the course topics.
This hybrid pre-course is the first in a series of capacity-building activities that will be conducted under the umbrella of the CONTACT project’s second work package focused on national trainings.
CONTACT is the first initiative in Southeast Asia on intelligence-led operations to counter RN illicit trafficking. Previous international projects have focused on the provision and use of radiation detection equipment to identify illicit trafficking. However, the “human factor” is of equal importance, as demonstrated by the fact that most successful seizures of radiological and nuclear materials were attributable to soundly planned and executed intelligence operations.
Within the framework of CONTACT, UNICRI works with countries in Southeast Asia to share good practices and reinforce capabilities to effectively and carefully plan intelligence and law enforcement operations as well as to exchange information at the national, regional and international levels.