STCU News and Announcements
Nuclear Forensics Programme at STCU356/428
05 Apr 2021 - 07 Apr 2021
April 5th and 7th, 2021, the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), jointly with the Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety, hosted the scenario-based exercise on combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials in Georgia. The training was held under the umbrella of an STCU Targeted Initiative on Nuclear Forensics funded jointly by the European Union and the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (U.S. DOE/NNSA).
The training's primary purpose was to demonstrate, check and coordinate joint actions of different authorities involved in the illegal handling of nuclear materials and radioactive sources. Georgian legislation includes various approaches to different types of cases of the illicit handling of radioactive substances: 1. A case of smuggling nuclear material across the Georgian border (from Georgia or any neighboring country) - land borders, airports, seaports. 2. Illicit trafficking of nuclear material or radioactive sources on Georgia's territory for sale, sabotage, terrorism act, etc. For this exercise, the case of smuggling of a radioactive source and its transportation across the Georgian border was selected as the scenario.
The training was attended by all authorities involved in responding to a radioactive source's illegal transportation across the border:
1. The Ministry of Internal affairs of Georgia:
a. Forensic-Criminalistic Department;
b. Patrol Police Department.
2. The State Security Service of Georgia;
3. The Agency of Nuclear and Radiation Safety;
4. The Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia;
5. The Prosecutor's office of Georgia.
Another goal of the training was to test different authorities' ability to remotely participate in such criminal cases, given the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It also considered the possibility of including experts from other countries in the investigation and cooperation through new remote access methods.
An important task was to show all the participants representing the Georgian Government Authorities involved in the response and investigation of the radioactive materials, the Library of Nuclear Forensics (NFL) Software. Participants were trained on the day-to-day use of the software, including how to enter information, how to search for information on the criminal event itself, as well as find the objects associated with the criminal incident.
The main result of the training was to determine:
• The responsibility of each authority, including its complete understanding, and knowledge of the legislation;
• The order of involvement of each of the participants in the chain of investigation of the criminal case;
• The technical capabilities of each authority in assessing the criminal situation, carrying out measurements, and collecting both radiation and non-radiation evidence;
• The interaction and cooperation among the investigators and the Prosecutor's office.