Nongovernmental organizations (NGO) have played and continue to play a very important role in supporting governments’ efforts aimed at strengthening nuclear security at national, regional, and international level by: 1) promoting dialogue between various stakeholders; 2) building national capacities through education and training, and 3) creating partnerships with government bodies which license and regulate civilian use of radioactive materials.
The authors, who represent both a nongovernmental organization and national regulating bodies, believe that through such partnerships NGOs can complement governments’ efforts to strengthen controls on radioactive sources and observe the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. The authors will support this view by analyzing two types of partnerships between the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and the governments of Moldova, Georgia, and between CNS and Malaysia.
The first case involves CNS cooperation with several post-Soviet countries in tracking down orphan and Soviet legacy radioactive sources using innovative methods and techniques. These include network and social media analysis and online survey tools, in combination with other established methods, such as physical and administrative searches. Such collaboration, particularly in Moldova, has produced tangible results and helped its government gain control of several hundred orphan radioactive sources.
The second case involves a partnership between CNS and the government of Malaysia to improve the transportation security of industrial radiography sources. CNS is working with its Malaysian partner to improve transportation security with the help of technical tools (such as geospatial analysis) and enhancements to security culture.
The paper will analyze these partnerships using the following criteria: 1) time efficiency; 2) project costs; 3) ability to meet project goals (quantitative and qualitative measurements); 4) end-user satisfaction; 5) project team satisfaction; 6) project sustainability.
It will also address the successes and challenges of such partnerships and how they vary depending on the stakeholders and countries involved. The paper will conclude with recommendations on how to expand and strengthen NGO-government partnerships in the field of radiological security and how creating more such partnerships would benefit nuclear and radiological security.