August 20, 2021

NUCLEAR SECURITY HIGHLIGHTS IN ROSATOM 2020 REPORT

On June 29, 2021, Rosatom released its 2020 annual report (hereinafter – the Report) summarizing information on the results of activities of Rosatom Headquarters and 203 organizations reporting to Rosatom.

The report covers multiple topics, including international cooperation, nuclear legacy decommissioning, developments in the closed nuclear fuel cycle and advanced reactors, as well as nuclear security topics.

This article outlines Report's highlights relevant to nuclear security.

Based on the report, Rosatom continues implementing authorities related to coordination of nuclear activities of organizations reporting to Rosatom, including nuclear safety and security activities. Rosatom also continues implementing regulatory authorities assigned by the Government.

The Report highlights the prevention of theft of nuclear material and unauthorized access of adversaries committing sabotage to nuclear sites as key nuclear security achievements, as well as the absence of substantial deficiencies of physical protection (PP) detected during state oversight. Based on the Report, Rosatom and Rosatom organizations worked in cooperation with the Federal Security Service (FSB), National Guard, and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) to prevent malicious acts against nuclear material and facilities.

Below are details on other nuclear security highlights.

Nuclear security regulatory framework

The report states that Rosatom conducted regulatory activities aimed at implementing state policies regarding nuclear safety and security and nuclear non-proliferation. Rosatom regulatory activities include participating in drafting and reconciliation of federal laws and other federal regulations relevant to the nuclear domain, as well as developing agency-level regulations.

Based on the report, Rosatom participated in the development and reconciliation of about 400 federal regulations and amendments to the regulations, including regulations related to the protection of Rosatom sites by protective force and restrictions established for secure areas adjacent to sites' protected areas.

Rosatom also participated in drafting federal regulations and amendments to regulations that govern the establishment of mandatory nuclear safety and security requirements, as well as oversight of compliance with these requirements. The report highlights that Rosatom's participation resulted in reflecting specifics and interests of the nuclear industry in the regulations. Specifically, Rosatom insisted on the non-reduction of the regulatory burden, including the strength of regulatory requirements and oversight, on the nuclear industry. Such reduction is a part of broad oversight reform run in Russia since 2016. The reform is aimed at reducing the number of regulations and regulatory requirements and oversight burden on business based on a risk-informed approach. Russian government and Parliament continuously adjust the regulatory framework for oversight to achieve this objective making exclusions for certain domains. Rosatom considers the strength of nuclear industry regulation as reasonable due to severe consequences of potential nuclear safety and security incidents and works with other stakeholders to preserve the established practice of regulation in the nuclear industry.

According to the report, Rosatom issued four agency-level regulations related to PP.

Coordination and implementation of PP at Russian sites

Rosatom and Rosatom organizations worked on developing and upgrading PP within the framework of the industry PP program and made the following achievements:

– operability and timely maintenance of all PP equipment at sites;
– share of new PP equipment (equipment operated for less than 10 years) at sites constituting 74,5% of all PP equipment;
– upgrade of PP equipment at a total of 23 kilometers of secure areas perimeter, including the upgrade of 52 entry control points for vehicles and pedestrians;
– installation of more than 3,000 pieces of PP equipment at sites;
– upgrade of PP equipment systems at 60 buildings at sites;
– lining more than seven kilometers of cables for PP equipment systems;
– completion of all PP activities planned for 2020.

As part of its agency control authority, Rosatom reviewed design documentation for the development or upgrade of site PP systems, including 118 statements of work (technical specifications) and 32 packages of design documentation. Rosatom approved 94 statements of work and send 24 statements back for the elimination of deficiencies. Rosatom also approved 20 packages of design documentation, requested elimination of deficiencies for five packages, and refused to review seven packages as non-complying with submission criteria.

Rosatom and protective force securing Rosatom sites, Rosatom agency pro-force and National Guard, worked to update reports (conclusions) of agency and interagency committees respectively that serve as a basis for organizing pro-force activities at sites and integrating pro-force in site PP systems. 29 reports were approved or revised, as well as multiple other documents related to organizing the involvement of the pro-force to protect sites.

PP status monitoring

Rosatom conducted eight scheduled agency PP inspections at sites implementing authority defined by federal PP regulations. This includes two on-site inspections and six inspections conducted remotely due to the pandemic restrictions. Twelve more inspections are scheduled for 2021.

In September 2020, all Rosatom operators conducted unscheduled self-inspection of PP. The operators cooperating with on-site pro-force and local branches of the Federal Security Service refined collaboration plans and conducted operational and functional tests of PP equipment, as well as tests of pro-force response (joined exercises on responding to adversary actions).

Conducted inspections showed that site PP systems provide reliable PP.

Rosatom and Rosatom organizations continued developing and using industry automated systems for PP status monitoring. By the end of 2020, the system included 160 workstations for personnel responsible for the analysis of data relevant to nuclear security and 74 workstations used by personnel responsible for PP status self-monitoring at sites. These workstations are operated at 42 Rosatom sites and in Rosatom PP Department.

Security of nuclear material during transportation

Rosatom and Rosatom organizations used Automated Transportation Security System (ATSS) for continuous online monitoring of transportation of special cargo (special cargo is a term commonly used to refer to transportation of nuclear and other radioactive material, as well as associated facilities and other sensitive cargo). The Report notes that by the end of 2020 Rosatom and Rosatom organizations had 20 transportation control centers providing real-time monitoring of transportation progress (location of vehicles), the status of PP, as well as timely notification of stakeholders in case of emergencies and unauthorized actions.

In 2020, Rosatom and Rostom organizations continued implementation of the Program for Maintaining and Enhancing ATSS over 2016-2020 and for the period until 2025. Works on developing and maintaining ATSS conducted in 2020 included:

– manufacturing 11 specialized armored vehicles equipped with ATSS equipment;
– maintenance of equipment installed at 80 specialized rail cars, 76 specialized vehicles, and two on-site transportation control centers.

International cooperation in nuclear security

The Report refers to activities that Rosatom implements within the framework of various nuclear safety and security international agreements as an important part of Rosatom's work. This includes activities associated with Rosatom status of the competent authority for nuclear safety during transportation of nuclear material, CPPNM contact point, and national competent authority for nuclear security working with IAEA and other international organizations.

The Report highlights that the objectives of Rosatom activities conducted internationally include strengthening nuclear security and non-proliferation regimes, as well as active involvement in the work of international organizations and forums.

In 2020, Rosatom continuously worked with IAEA and participated in all international conferences and meetings relevant to the use of nuclear energy, including the 63rd IAEA General Conference and IAEA 2020 International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS 2020). Part of the events was attended via videoconference.

The report notes that experts from Rosatom and Rosatom organizations participating in ICONS 2020 presented Russia's approach to nuclear forensics to support nuclear newcomer states in developing relevant expertise. An outline of presentations on nuclear forensics and other topics made by Russian experts during the ICONS is available in the March 2020 issue of the Russian Nuclear Security Update.

The Report also notes that Russia did not participate in nuclear forensics exercises and workshops conducted within the framework of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism due to pandemic restrictions.

Based on the Report, Rosatom participated in the technical meeting held by IAEA to review NSS-15 Nuclear Security Recommendations on Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control, a high-level document of IAEA Nuclear Security Series. The review was aimed at defining the relevance of the document. One of the objectives of Rosatom experts was the prevention of adding new reporting mechanisms on nuclear security in IAEA documents.

Financial stability and funding for nuclear security

Rosatom Annual Report shows financial stability and availability of funding to cover the needs of the nuclear industry, including safety and security expenditures.

Rosatom received 131.5 billion Rubles (USD $1.9 billion) from the federal budget (the unclassified part of the budget). This funding covers expenditures associated with facilities and materials owned by the state and managed by Rosatom, implementation of Rosatom regulatory authorities, and funding state programs (federal target programs) run in the nuclear industry. In addition, Rosatom used its own funds.

At the same time, state property managed by Rosatom brought the federal budget a profit of 5.6 billion Rubles (USD $77.5 million). In addition, Rosatom organizations paid a total of 249.9 billion Rubles (USD $3.5 billion) to local and federal budgets as taxes on commercial revenue. This is 20,5% more than taxes paid in 2019 (in Rubles).

Based on the report, Rosatom completed 2020 financial plans with minor deviations from anticipated amounts of expenditures and revenue.

Rosatom continues accumulating and managing the funds allocated by operators to reserves intended for funding nuclear safety and security. This includes the MPC&A fund. Nuclear operators transferred 2.1 billion Rubles (USD $28.4 million) to the MPC&A fund in 2020. Money from the MPC&A fund was spent within the framework of industry program on strengthening PP and antiterrorist protection of Rosatom sites, including:

– installation of explosive detectors at sites;
– installation of systems for inspecting the undercarriage of vehicles at sites' entry control points;
– completing activities scheduled in Program for Maintaining and Enhancing ATSS over 2016-2020 and for the period until 2025.

According to the Report, no nuclear security activities were funded through international technical assistance programs.

In addition to domestic nuclear security expenditures, Rosatom managed funding committed by Russia to support IAEA initiatives. This includes EUR 2.0 million transferred to IAEA technical assistance fund and EUR 610,000.0 transferred to IAEA nuclear infrastructure development projects associated with training personnel in countries where Rosatom builds nuclear sites. Rosatom also spent 5.0 million Rubles (USD $68,996.4) on training conducted in Russia within the framework of IAEA nuclear infrastructure development projects. Another 12.8 million Rubles (USD $ 177,488.3) were used to support IAEA safeguards.

Information protection

Rosatom and Rosatom organizations continued protecting state secrets including using specialized equipment. No information classified as state secrets was leaked.

Rosatom continued enhancing information security culture. This includes relevant training for 2000 officials and distribution of the Information Security 101 newsletter across the industry launched in 2020.

Anti-corruption

To preserve the available funding and other assets, Rosatom implemented anti-corruption measures, including personnel training, continuous monitoring of the implementation of anti-corruption measures, the development and update of anticorruption guides for personnel. The report refers to the prevention of corruption and asset protection as one of the major corporate functions. The report highlights that there were no cases of misusing money allocated from the federal budget.

Uniformity of measurements, standardization, and certification

Rosatom continued implementing its authorities related to the uniformity of measurements in the nuclear industry, as well as certification and standardization of equipment used in the nuclear industry. MC&A measurements are subject to measurements uniformity requirements, including requirements established in national standards. PP equipment is subject to standardization and mandatory certification.

Rosatom continued accreditation of certification bodies and laboratories conducting certification tests and measurements. Certification bodies and laboratories in turn continued certification of equipment used at nuclear sites and the conduct of certification inspections.

In addition, Rosatom approved procedures for maintaining the database of standards applicable to equipment used at sites, as well as procedures for defining provisions of the standards mandatory for manufacturers and operators of the equipment, including PP equipment.

Support to closed cities hosting Rosatom sites

Rosatom supported activities aimed at enhancement of living conditions in closed cities hosting Rosatom sites including through the improvement of the business climate in the cities.

Rosatom and Atom-TOR, the Rosatom company established to manage support to closed cities provided by Rosatom, cooperated with local government, Ministry of Economics, and other stakeholders. Such cooperation resulted in the establishment of territories of priority development in a total of eight closed cities by the end of 2020, including Novouralsk (hosts Urals Integrated Electrochemical Plant/UEIP), Seversk (hosts Siberian Chemical combine/SCC), Lesnoy (hosts Electrohimpribor Plant), Snezhinsk (hosts VNIITF), and Ozersk (hosts Mayak). Territories of priority development are areas with favorable tax conditions, simplified administrative procedures, and other privileges.

Rosatom also supported closed cities in applying for social development grants from the federal budget. This helped to attract substantial funding for the development of social infrastructure in multiple cities hosting Rosatom sites, including closed cities. The cities received about 6.1 billion Rubles (USD $84.4 million) in 2020.

Such efforts help to enhance living conditions and economics in areas where Rosatom sites are located. We consider the enhancement of economics and living conditions in closed cities as contributing to the retention of qualified site personnel having sensitive knowledge and skills. In addition, site personnel satisfied with living conditions is less likely to act as insiders.

Source: Rosatom public reporting web page