40th anniversary International Training Course

By Mollie Rappe

Photography By Randy Montoya

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Students check mock nuclear items

ITC participants check a few randomly selected mock nuclear items. This nuclear material accountancy and control method can detect and deter insider threats, as well as detect minor irregularities due to human error.

Last week marked the end of the latest three-week International Training Course on the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities, which began in 1978. This 40th anniversary course provided training on international best practices for physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities to 50 participants from 38 countries as well as two observers from Taiwan.


ITC participants practice using telemanipulators.

ITC participants practice using telemanipulators.

The participants included nuclear operators for research reactors and power plants and state regulators and policy makers. NNSA and the International Atomic Energy Agency co-sponsor the course every 18 months, which has always been held at Sandia and taught primarily by Sandia instructors.


ITC participants compare labels to a checklist

ITC participants compare the label, location and condition of a few randomly selected mock nuclear items to their records and confirm the tamper-evident tags are intact.

The course involves classroom training and hands-on exercises. Some of these exercises are held at Sandia’s Integrated Security Facility. This facility uses the security systems originally designed to protect

Category 1 nuclear material in Tech Area 5 that now serves as a venue for hands-on physical security training. With its fully functional physical security and material accounting systems, the facility is invaluable for demonstrating physical security, material control as well as safety concepts and principles.

ITC participants discuss mock shipment paperwork

ITC participants receive and process a shipment of mock nuclear material and uncover an error in the paperwork.