Argentina has been in a continuous and wide development process in the nuclear activity areas since the 1950s. The use of this strategic resource was assumed as a State Challenge due to its multiple applications to the human beings life style, referred to health and industrial uses including electricity production by Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).
Nowadays, in Argentina, there are more than 1300 nuclear and radiological installations under regulatory control and the strict compliance of the Argentine Regulatory Standards. The National Nuclear Activity Law 24804, through its Decree Nº 1390, empowered the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Argentina, (ARN, by its initials in Spanish) with the attribution to develop the corpus of national Regulatory Standards.
The Argentine regulatory framework has been consolidated since the beginning of the nuclear activity with a graded approach. In 1958, it was published the first Standard on the Use of Radioisotopes and Ionizing Radiations, and then, in 1966 it was published the first edition of the Basics Standards on Radiological and Nuclear Safety. Some years later, the standards called “CALIN” applicable to nuclear facilities were issued. Since 1994 the regulatory activity became fully independent with the creation of the National Board of Nuclear Regulations (ENREN, for its initials in Spanish), the predecessor organization of the current Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN). The experience on regulatory issues was gained through the application of national regulations which took into account the IAEA standards and the ICRP recommendations. Currently, the Argentine regulatory framework, based on performance Regulatory Standards, covers the regulatory areas of radiological and nuclear safety, safeguards and physical protection of nuclear materials and nuclear facilities, and security of radioactive sources. Nuclear security is one of the main issues considered for the installations and practices regulated by ARN.
In 2016, it was initiated a detailed regulatory framework review to identify gaps in the existing corpus of standards and with the objective of harmonizing the Argentine Standards. The objective of the review was also to contrast the standards with the IAEA Safety Standards recommendations, the mandatory conventions and, in the particular case of security requirements, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment (CPPNM). The standards produced by other recognized regulatory bodies and the experience gained as the result of the licensing and regulatory control of nuclear and radiological facilities were also considered. That resulted in the improvement, updating or extension of the scope of the existing standards and the creation of some new standards.
This paper will present the nuclear security requirements status in the Argentine Regulatory Standards. As a result of this research based on the Regulatory Standards, it was possible to find the connection among the different requirements on nuclear security in the Regulatory Standards. This paper will highlight the updated requirements and explain the necessity of inclusion of some of them in the corpus of the Nuclear Regulatory Standards in order to strengthen the control measures and to foster the nuclear security culture. The clear understanding of the interrelation of the nuclear security requirements in the Regulatory Standards may optimize all the regulatory activities and their associated resources.