Nuclear security: Switzerland aims to strengthen cybersecurity

In a recent meeting, ENSI Director Hans Wanner and IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi discussed the latest issues and future challenges in nuclear safety and security. The meeting took place during the third International Conference on Nuclear Security organised by the IAEA in Vienna.

“The interface between nuclear security – that is, the protection of nuclear plants against sabotage and other unauthorised malicious acts on the one hand and nuclear safety on the other – is very important and should be reinforced at an international level,” said ENSI Director Hans Wanner at the Third Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security, which took place in Vienna from 10- 14 February 2020. Experts from ENSI were part of the Swiss delegation. While in Vienna, they emphasised the importance of creating synergies between nuclear security and safety.

Switzerland’s overriding concern was the comprehensive protection of all nuclear material at a global level. In particular, ENSI emphasised the central importance of IT and computer security for the protection of critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants, as Hans Wanner later underlined: “At the Ministerial Conference, we committed ourselves to further strengthening cybersecurity in nuclear installations, because it represents an important area of nuclear security”.

IAEA and ENSI directors meet

While present at the conference, ENSI Director Hans Wanner and the new IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met for bilateral talks. They agreed on closer cooperation with a special future focus on emergency preparedness.

Switzerland at the International Conference on Nuclear Security

  • The ministerial conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations (IAEA) on nuclear security first took place in 2013. It was instigated to strengthen nuclear security worldwide and prevent terrorist activities.
  • In 2016[alma1] , the more than 170 members met again in Vienna to define and optimise the coordinating role of the IAEA in nuclear security.
  • The conference in February 2020 was the third International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS 2002). The Swiss delegation was made up of representatives of ENSI, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).