Establish Regulatory Frameworks for Radiological Security


Most countries do not have adequate national regulatory frameworks for regulating and providing oversight of radioactive sources, including security requirements.

Data Highlights

  • Only 23% of countries have in place all five regulatory elements included within the National Measures category: a regulatory oversight body, required security measures, a state registry, inspection authority, and export licensing requirements. In 17% of countries, none of these measures are required.
  • Though 81% of countries have established a regulatory oversight body for radioactive sources, only 56% of countries have a regulatory requirement to secure radioactive sources, and only 51% of countries have authority to inspect facilities with radioactive sources. These numbers indicate that many countries’ oversight bodies deal only with safety, not security, of radioactive sources.
  • Only 45% of countries have licensing requirements for exporting IAEA Category 1 sources,[1] the most dangerous kinds of sources.
  • Only 36% of countries maintain an active national registry of radioactive sources.
The percentage of countries that have in place each of the five regulatory components for radiological security included in the assessment.


Countries should establish the national legal framework necessary to effectively regulate and control radioactive sources, including an oversight body and requirements to secure radioactive sources.

  • Countries should establish a national regulatory body to oversee security of radioactive sources through regulations, inspections, enforcement, and building human capacity.
  • Countries should bridge regulatory gaps to address the security of radioactive sources and, if needed, integrate safety and security measures in their national framework.
  • Countries should establish a minimum level of security to protect radioactive sources from theft, using a graded approach to securing different categories of sources.
  • The regulatory body should have authority to inspect facilities with radioactive sources. Inspectors should be well trained and inspect against common standards, inspections should result in a set of recommended corrective actions, and processes should be in place to follow up on inspections to confirm that recommendations are met.
  • The regulatory body should maintain a national registry of radioactive sources so it can effectively provide oversight of those sources and track them through their life cycle.

[1] Category 1 sources are radioactive materials that, according to the IAEA, “would be likely to cause permanent injury to a person who handled it, or were otherwise in contact with it, for more than a few minutes.” IAEA Category 1 sources are as follows: radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs); irradiators; teletherapy sources; and fixed, multibeam teletherapy (gamma knife) sources.