Friday, 07/01/2022 17:59 GMT+7

Training Course on Physical Protection System for Response Force at the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute

In the framework of the Agreement between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam and the Department of Energy of the United States on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, on the 21st and 22nd of June, 2022, two experts of Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), Mr. Jeffrey Fresier Jarry and J. Dixon Patrick conducted a site visit to periodically inspect the Physical Protection System (PPS) at the Dalat Nuclear Research Institute (DNRI). On this occasion, the DNRI has coordinated with the SNL to organize a training course on PPS for the response forces to ensure the security of radioactive sources and materials at the Institute.

Mr. Nguyen Kien Cuong - DNRI Deputy Director, delivers opening remarks

Attending the training course were Mr. Nguyen Kien Cuong - DNRI Deputy Director, Representatives of the leaders of the Department of Planning and International Relations, Officials responsible for the security of nuclear fuels and radioactive sources and materials at the DNRI and Police officers of Target Protection Unit under Lamdong Provincial Department of Police.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Cuong emphasized that the PPS was one of the equipment systems playing an important role in ensuring nuclear security at the DNRI. In order to ensure the reliable operation of PPS at the Institute, the system must be periodically inspected and evaluated with the coordination of the US experts, the installation and maintenance technicians, and other relevant DNRI officials. Through this course, the Deputy Director also expressed his desire that the participants would be able to directly exchange professional expertise and actual system operation with US experts to better understand the operating principles of the equipment system, thereby mastering the PPS in order to ensure safety, security and effectiveness for the reactor.

The PPS in a nuclear facility comprises three main functions: detection of, delay of and response to unauthorized intrusions to sabotage the facility or steal nuclear or radioactive materials for different purposes. The PPS at the DNRI - a nuclear facility, where the only nuclear research reactor is being operated in Vietnam, was also designed with all the above functions. The system consists of two components integrated and controlled at a Central Alarm Station (CAS) close to the facility entrance.

The first component for protection of the reactor and nuclear fuels was installed and put into operation in 2007. The second component for protection of radioactive sources and materials was put into operation in 2011. In order to gradually improve the PPS and meet the increasing security requirements, the first component was upgraded in 2008 and 2010 and then both components were updated and enlarged in 2014 and 2019. In addition, several types of obsolete equipment were replaced with the new ones in 2021.

SNL experts present a range of topics

The SNL experts presented four main topics including (1) Prescriptive and performance based security requirements; (2) Overview of radioactive material security systems; (3) Physical protection design concepts, and (4) Overview of inspection process. In addition to the main topics, participants and experts also spent time exchanging experience and resolving difficult problems in the process of operating the PPS at the Institute during the course. Moreover, the US experts also mentioned the lessons learned in Goiania radioactive source incidents in Brazil in 1987. Furthermore, the experts also presented a corrective action process for a hypothetical medical facility possessing radiation equipment and radioactive sources.

The success of this training course will make a significant contribution to raising security awareness and developing response capacity for the officials and teams responsible for the safety and security at the DNRI in the future.

Participants take pictures with the US experts and the organizing committee


Translated by Le Van Ngoc

Source: Dalat Nuclear Research Institute

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