Bolster the Global Radiological Architecture


The international architecture for radiological security is extremely weak and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources (Code of Conduct), which is the foundation of that architecture but is voluntary and non-binding, is not universal.

Data Highlights

  • 78% of countries have made a political commitment to the IAEA Code of Conduct, which is the cornerstone of the global radiological security architecture. (See The IAEA Code of Conduct.)
  • 61% of countries have ratified the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT), which requires states parties to criminalize certain activities and cooperate with one another to prosecute those who violate those crimes.
  • 60% of countries have ratified the Convention on Assistance in the Case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
  • 46% of countries have ratified the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
  • 49% of countries are members of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT).
  • 41% of countries sent an official delegation to the 2018 IAEA International Conference on the Security of Radioactive Sources.
IAEA Code of Conduct Status
Status of political commitments to and implementation of the IAEA Code of Conduct and related Supplemental Guidance.


Countries should bolster the global radiological security architecture by ratifying key international agreements, by making political commitments to the IAEA Code of Conduct and related Supplemental Guidance, and by participating in voluntary initiatives.

  • Countries should work with the IAEA to universalize and strengthen implementation of the Code of Conduct and related Supplemental Guidance, including through sharing of best practices and assistance to countries, with the goal that all countries adhere to minimum standards.
  • Countries should (a) ratify and fully implement ICSANT, the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, and the Convention on Spent Fuel Management; (b) join the GICNT; and (c) send delegations to key international conferences on radiological security, such as those hosted by the IAEA. Participation in key radiological security initiatives and conferences provides opportunities for countries to build awareness of radiological risks, share best practices and lessons learned, and strengthen professional networks.
  • Countries should contribute to the IAEA’s radiological security work through political, technical, and financial support to assist countries in their implementation of the Code of Conduct and Supplemental Guidance, as well as other IAEA guidance on radiological security.