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10-14 February 2020
Europe/Vienna timezone

IPPAS Missions – Three types of personal experience

Not scheduled
Paper PP: International Physical Protection Advisory Service: good practices and lessons learned


Stephan Bayer (Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office)


IPPAS missions comprise a team of international experts who assess a State’s system of physical protection (nuclear security), compare it with international best practices and make recommendations for improvements. IPPAS missions were established in 1995 as a voluntary service to assist States in strengthening their national nuclear security regime. Initially IPPAS missions were mostly undertaken by States with relatively smaller or immature nuclear security regimes. However IPPAS missions were mainstreamed from 2010 after the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, which specifically encouraged all States to use and benefit from this service. There are now very few States with significant nuclear-related activities involving nuclear material that have never hosted an IPPAS mission.

IPPAS mission teams typically comprise 5-8 persons from IAEA member states having contemporary experience in a variety of nuclear security topics, including physical protection, transport security, response and computer security. Legal expertise is also required to address State legislation and regulations that implement nuclear security treaties. The availability of such experts and the leadership of the secretariat is vital to the continued running of IPPAS missions.

IPPAS missions are constructed around a series of modules addressing the State-level nuclear security regime, facility security, transport of nuclear material, security of radioactive sources, computer security and more recently the interface with nuclear accountancy and control.

The author of this paper has had the privilege of multiple experiences in being a member of an IPPAS mission team, being a team leader of IPPAS missions, and hosting IPPAS missions, including involvement in IPPAS follow-up missions. Each of these roles gives a different perspective on the effectiveness and sustainability of this successful service.

Without attribution to the countries involved (aside from Australia), or going into the details of individual IPPAS missions, this paper will outline the overall differing experiences made as a provider and receiver IPPAS missions. The paper will describe the key lessons learned from these experiences, establish some common conclusions and finally give suggestions for the evolution of the service in the years ahead. In particular, the paper will describe the commonalities and differences in being a host country contact, IPPAS team member and team leader.

The paper will also outline the vital role IPPAS missions play in the global nuclear security architecture.

Gender Male
State Australia

Primary author

Stephan Bayer (Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office)

Presentation Materials