One-Day Seminar at PNRA

Security of Nuclear and Radioactive Material - Pakistan's Efforts at PNRA

Nuclear and radioactive material is widely used in peaceful applications of nuclear technology. However, it may pose harm to the public and the environment if used by unauthorized persons or by inadvertent contamination. This was the genesis of the Nuclear Security concept. Nuclear security is a state responsibility and Pakistan was one of the states which took the early initiative to address this concern. As a result of its efforts, Pakistan has a well-established nuclear security regime with well-trained manpower and resources. It is now supporting other States through IAEA in this area. PNRA has a primary role in all these efforts. To highlight PNRA achievements for the establishment and sustainability of the national nuclear security regime, Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS) in collaboration with Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority organized a seminar titled, “Security of Nuclear and Radioactive Material-Pakistan’s Efforts at PNRA”, on November 10th 2021, at PNRA HQ, Islamabad.

            Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, President PNS, in his opening remarks emphasized the need for sustainable nuclear security efforts at the national level in compliance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and various international legal instruments signed by Pakistan. He commended PNRA for putting in place three tiers of the security regime: (i) national legislation and regulations, (ii) institutions and organizations, and (iii) security systems and procedures. He also elaborated the objectives of PNS as the sole representative body of nuclear professionals in the country. He noted that the services of PNS members for securing Pakistan’s status as responsible nuclear power and playing a crucial role in the economic development of the country are not well projected at the national level.

            The discussion on the establishment of nuclear security regime in Pakistan remains incomplete without honoring founding Chairman PNRA, Mr. Jamshed Azim Hashmi, HI, TI. Therefore, a message by him was shared with the audience. In his message, he recognized the PNRA determination for the establishment of nuclear safety regime and  

appreciated all those who contributed in this effort. Later on, first talk was given by Former Chairman PNRA, Mr. Anwar Habib, H. I., on global nuclear security instruments. He briefly explained the requirements set by international instruments about state’s responsibility for nuclear securityand how Pakistan has fulfilled its national responsibilities in this regard. Mr. Muhammad Khaliq, Head Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section, IAEA shared the conceptualization of Pakistan’s National Nuclear Security Action Plan (NNSAP) Project through a virtual talk. He informed the participants about PNRA contribution for presenting national stance related to international instruments on nuclear security and how government of Pakistan mandated PNRA to play its role in strengthening national nuclear security regime. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq, Advisor to Chairman PNRA talked on PNRA’s achievements in the area of nuclear security through NSAP project and highlighted the challenges faced in this regard.

Mr. M. Qayyum, DG (Licensing & Authorization)/(Inspection and Enforcement), PNRA enlightened the participants with brief overview of the national regulatory framework on nuclear security. He explained that two independent regulations have been established to address the physical protection of nuclear material and associated facility and security of radioactive sources. Mr. Anayat Ullah, PSO, PNRA spoke on PNRA regulatory oversight for material out of regulatory control (MORC). He emphasized that nuclear security is not limited to implementation of regulations on radioactive material but also to establish a system for keeping watch over material out of regulatory control and presented outcome of PNRA’s efforts in this area. The talks were concluded with a question and answers session by the participants. 

The seminar was formally closed by the chief guest Mr. Usman Jadoon, DG (UN & ACDIS), MoFA. In this closing remarks he underlined the fact that Pakistan has made tremendous contribution in maintaining national nuclear security   which is well recognized internationally. All these efforts have elevated Pakistan’s image as a responsible state. All national institutes must continue these efforts in furture.  

 Shazia Fayyaz, Executive Member, PNS