Backgrounder on Protection and Security of Radiation Sources

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Source Security (Video)

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Keeping radioactive materials out of the hands of terrorists is a top priority for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC and its Agreement States1 have in place a multi-layered, comprehensive security program to protect these sources. This program has been effective, keeping incidents to a minimum and their consequences low. Most lost or stolen sources are quickly found, with little or no radiation exposure or contamination. The NRC continues to work at home and abroad to make risk-significant radiation sources2 even more secure. The United States was the first country to require enhanced security measures for radioactive sources, and NRC continues to lead the world in source security.

The NRC defines "risk-significant sources" as those listed in Category 1 and Category 2 of the International Atomic Energy Agency's "Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources."

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, March 27, 2020