Myanmar, a State with very limited quantities of nuclear material, acceded to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its amendment on 6th December 2016 and entered into force on 5th Jan 2017. Following the accession to CPPNM and its amendment, Myanmar is working step by step approach to implement the obligations under the convention.
The utilization of radiation sources is limited to the use in medicine, industry, agriculture, livestock breeding and research. To promote the protection of radioactive material in use, transport and storage and to establish the security detection architecture for nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control by international cooperation and domestic interfaces are further steps in the implementation of effective national nuclear security regime.
With the purpose of strengthening national nuclear related legislation, Division of Atomic Energy (DAE) under the Ministry of Education (MOE), has just recently completed the drafting of Myanmar Nuclear Law that prohibits the use, production, storage, distribution and import/export of nuclear and other radioactive materials without government license. Furthermore, Myanmar has expressed a political commitment with regards to the Code of Conduct on Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources.
The development of a number of regulations namely Nuclear Safety Regulation, Nuclear Security Regulation and Safeguards Regulation will follow. Counter Terrorism Law Myanmar was promulgated on 4th June 2014, and it is based on UNSCR 1373 and UNSCR 1540 which is related to nuclear security issues.The DAE acts as the Regulatory Body under the Atomic Energy Law and is responsible for all aspects of control, security and safe management of radioactive materials used in Myanmar.
The DAE is using Regulatory Authority Information System (RAIS) since 1998 and now using RAIS 3.3. The DAE collect the list of the private clinics, hospitals, industries with their radioactive source and radiation apparatus by the help of relevant Ministries. The Inspectors from DAE also disseminate security culture for radioactive sources to pave way for future use of Nuclear Security practices among private and government sectors.
Establishment of recording and reporting of incidents to regulatory authorities will come soon. Reporting systems for medical radiation incidents become Mandatory reporting as part of regulation. All detected event are notified initially to the IAEA Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB).
For international cooperation, DAE has been engaging Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan (INSSP) and Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) programme, in collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), United States Department of Energy (USDOE), Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) , Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control (KINAC) and ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE). Moreover, regarding with strategic trade control and container control, Myanmar cooperates with Australian Border Force (ABF), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Union Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU-CBRN COE), in conjunction with local stakeholders.
Myanmar, in collaboration with the IAEA and USDOE, is now endeavoring to implement the physical protection systems at the Radiotherapy Departments in the Government Hospitals and recently established Central Monitoring Station in the DAE branch office in Yangon.
DAE hosted a team from USDOE, National Security Administration’s Office of Radiological Security (ORS) for Site Assessment Visit from 13 to 23 May 2019. Expert team from USDOE visited Mandalay General Hospital and inspected the installations of physical protection systems to secure the Co-60 teletherapy unit, then visited Taunggyi Saq San Tun General Hospital to make design calculations for coming installation.
Moreover, this expert team conducted International Response Training in Nay Pyi Taw. Training is designed to assist partner countries with establishing and maintaining effective response capabilities in the event of an attempted on theft of radiological material. It helps the relevant ministries in Myanmar to understand the threats and plan to respond for radiological security incidents.
The DAE raises awareness to maintain and further strengthen national nuclear security regimes in strengthening nuclear security globally through Media and social network for public awareness, engagement in national and international events, and translation of technical document into the national language and sharing of information and good practices with relevant stakeholders.
Radiation Protection Training for radiographers from Medical field is being conducted each year. Outreach disseminations of CBRN are conducting for Law Enforcement Departments each year and on demand. To enhance security in local and border areas, DAE is trying to get installation of radiation portal monitors.
This paper will highlight Myanmar’s consolidated efforts to sustain and further strengthen national nuclear security regime with special focus on nuclear security and radioactive source security still strives for continuous improvements to its performance of the control of radioactive material under and out of regulatory control and engagement with international organizations and domestic interfaces while preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material.