On July 5, 2018 the Government introduced amendments to "Rules of Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, Nuclear Facilities and Storage Sites of Nuclear Materials" approved by the Government Decree N 456 of July 19, 2007 (also known as PP Rules or Government Decree 456).
The PP Rules is a key regulatory document in the area of physical protection applicable to all civil and military nuclear sites. The rules define the structure of the state PP system, roles and responsibilities of all participants including governing bodies in the use of atomic energy that coordinates activities of nuclear sites, security authorities, law enforcement agencies, National Guard of Russia and nuclear sites. The PP Rules also establish general requirements to major elements of the PP system applicable to stationary sites and transportation of nuclear materials.
There were no substantial revisions to PP Rules since the approval of original document in 2007. In May 2017 Rosatom published the draft revision of the document at the Government web-site http://regulation.gov.ru
to solicit comments from experts and the general public (for details see the Summer 2017 issue of Russian Nuclear Security Update). A year later the amendments to PP Rules were enacted.
Partially, revisions introduced to the Rules are already captured in multiple government and lower level documents and implemented in practice. Current changes codify these practices in key PP regulation. At the same time, certain new or revised provisions differ from current practices and will likely drive the development and revision of lower level regulations. Amendments introduced to PP Rules clarify distribution of PP responsibilities between sites and pro-force securing the sites
The amended PP Rules require site management to cooperate with pro-force securing nuclear site while conducting key PP activities, e.g. vulnerability assessment, effectiveness evaluation, and organizing guard systems at a site, regardless of pro-force type – National Guard troops or agency pro-force. Before, cooperation with pro-force was only required at sites secured by National Guard, and not sites secured by agency pro-force. In addition, the amendments explicitly state that pro-force command is liable for violating requirements of PP Rules.
The amendments also transfer responsibility for operating PPS local alarm stations from site security service to the pro-force securing nuclear sites, while central alarm station must still be operated by the site service. The amendments address authorities related to defining threats and adversary profiles
Revisions introduced to PP Rules provide Federal Security Service (FSB) with explicit authority to define major threats to nuclear sites in cooperation with concerned government agencies, including Rosatom. The revisions also make the FSB responsible for organizing the development of adversary profiles (design basis threats) tailored for specific nuclear sites and communicating the profiles to the sites. The amendments added requirements to assessing and evaluating PP at sites, including requirements for the establishment of respective agency procedures
Introduced amendments directly require site PP personnel to conduct analytical work to ensure achievement of PP objectives at a site. PP Rules do not define the scope of analytical work, but require government agencies managing nuclear sites, e.g. Rosatom and Minpromtorg, to establish procedures for analytical work. PP Rules also require government agencies managing nuclear sites to establish quantitative criteria for PPS effectiveness, as well as methodology for evaluating PPS effectiveness. This will likely facilitate resolution of longstanding issue with evaluating PPS effectiveness. Federal Norms and Rules NP-083-15 Requirements to PPS require that sites confirm that PPS effectiveness is above minimum acceptable level. However, it was not established what this minimum acceptable effectiveness is and who is in charge of establishing it. The amendments establish the legal basis for using automated transportation security system created by Rosatom to support PP of category I and II nuclear materials during transportation
A general requirement is added to PP Rules on the use of systems monitoring status of PP during inter-site transportation of category I and II nuclear materials (NM). It is also defined that agency regulations establish requirements to such monitoring systems. We believe that this provides the legal basis for the use of existing automated transportation security system (ATSS) developed and operated by Rosatom to facilitate PP during transportation of category I and II NM by road vehicles and rail. The amendments define that any irradiated NM is category II NM
The criteria for categorizing NM provided in appendix to PP Rules are revised so that any irradiated NM is now considered category II NM. Before, category II or III could be defined for irradiated NM depending on characteristics that the NM had prior to the irradiation. It will likely lead to toughening requirements to protecting irradiated NM, including low enriched spent nuclear fuel. The amendments provide additional PP authorities and responsibilities to National Guard and Rostechnadzor
In addition to the recently established responsibility of the National Guard for securing sites defined by the Government, the amended PP Rules require the National Guard to secure areas at sea ports where vessels with nuclear facilities are moored and/or serviced. The amendments also authorize the National Guard to participate in the development of regulations on providing security to nuclear sites.
Amendments introduced to the Rules also specifically define that Rostechnadzor should oversee PP at sites during emergency response. This may require revisions to Rostechnadzor oversight procedures. The amendments clarify applicability of PP Rules to radioactive waste and NM and facilities involved in military nuclear programs
The amendments specifically state that PP of nuclear facilities, NM and nuclear weapons operated and handled at sites subordinate to Ministry of Defense is governed by federal regulations on military service and MoD regulations, and not PP Rules. PP at sites subordinate to other Government Agencies, e.g. Rosatom and Minpromtorg, handling and operating NM and nuclear facilities involved in military programs is still governed by PP Rules. The amendments also add direct reference to radioactive waste and respective facilities to the list of items protected in accordance with other regulations, not PP Rules. Certain changes are introduced with regard to PP equipment systems design
The amendments add system for detecting prohibited items (explosives, NM and metal items) to the list of functional sub-systems constituting the PP equipment system. In addition, the amendments require Federal Security Service (FSB) to organize testing explosives detectors to verify their detection capabilities. It is not clear whether this includes organizing regular testing at sites or tests conducted to define suitability of explosive detectors of a specific design for PPS.
The amended PP Rules also directly state that the surveillance system can include various surveillance equipment, and not only equipment for video surveillance. The approved amendments described above significantly differ from draft amendments discussed with experts and general public in May 2017
In the Summer 2017 issue of Russian Nuclear Security Update we provided an outline of draft amendments to PP Rules published to solicit comments from experts and general public. A number of those changes were not approved:
- explicit definition of terrorist acts as "unauthorized action" against nuclear sites thus requiring the PP system to protect against terrorist acts and eliminating regulatory ambiguity.
- clarifying that in the case if PP Rules require federal agencies managing nuclear sites to define procedures for certain PP activities such as vulnerability analysis, these procedures must be established as a mandatory agency regulation. Currently, the status and form of these documents are not regulated by PP Rules.
- allowing carriers to be responsible for PP of nuclear materials during transportation. Currently, nuclear sites sending or receiving nuclear materials bear responsibility for their physical protection during transportation.
- establishing explicit requirements to design nuclear sites taking into account PP requirements and current threats.