Construction begins on new IAEA Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre in Austria

WCN Editorial Team 13 Jul 2021 EUROPE BUILDINGS

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has broken ground on a new training centre to help strengthen countries’ abilities to tackle nuclear terrorism.

Located at the IAEA facility in Seibersdorf, 30 km south of Vienna, Austria, the new IAEA Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre is being constructed with the largest contribution from Saudi Arabia.

It will help the countries to tackle nuclear terrorism in areas that include major public events, physical protection of facilities and illegal trafficking of nuclear material.

IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi said: “This Centre will help us in supporting countries to remain ahead of the curve in guarding against nuclear terrorism. It will reinforce the central role the Agency plays in this area of international importance.”

The new centre will offer over 2000m2 of specialised technical infrastructure and equipment and accommodate hands-on trainings on demonstration systems and virtual reality environments.

These platforms will help to emulate security systems that are installed at research reactors, nuclear power plants, and border crossings.

IAEA stated that the new centre and the multi-purpose building, which will house the new training centre, has drawn more than €11.3m in extra-budgetary funding, with Saudi Arabia pledging to provide about €8.3m, followed by €2m from the UK and €1m from the US.

Furthermore, the IAEA Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre is planned to commence operations in 2023.

Rafael Mariano Grossi added: “Thanks to the great generosity of our donor countries this new facility will expand the topic areas covered by the IAEA’s Seibersdorf complex.”

Opened in 1962, the IAEA Seibersdorf facility has eight nuclear applications laboratories for human health, food and agriculture, environmental monitoring and assessment, along with two safeguards analytical laboratories for nuclear verification.

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A rendering of the future IAEA Multipurpose Building which will house the Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre. Credit: IAEA.

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