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Centre for Science & Security Studies

Practitioner Engagement

CSSS staff members engage actively with government officials and industry in order to inform policy and practice within the UK and internationally. This occurs through engagement at policy and industry-relevant workshops such as Wilton Park or the Nuclear Institute and via dedicated knowledge-transfer projects. Major CSSS activities in this area are outlined below.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) Project

In June 2017 CSSS kicked off a research project funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to assess security culture across different UK nuclear sites. Over the next 12 months we will be conducting interviews with a wide cross section of nuclear practitioners in an attempt to better understand how security culture as developed overtime, to identify potential areas of conflict and to explore how it might be further strengthened. Past global incidents have shown how human factor weaknesses within nuclear security systems can facilitate the theft of material or sensitive information or the sabotage of systems. This project aims to complement existing efforts to assess nuclear security culture, for example, through the used of the SeCuRE 3 survey tool developed by the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.

For more information please contact: Dr Christopher Hobbs and Dr Matt Moran and Dr Ben Kienzle and Geoffrey Chapman

Nuclear Culture Programme

For more than a decade the United Kingdom has worked with states around the world to improve nuclear security standards, practices and infrastructure under its Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP). As part of this effort in 2014 the GTRP launched a Nuclear Security Culture Programme, focused on strengthening the human factor in security systems and exploring how security culture can be enhanced and assessed in different national and organisational contexts. This new programme of work is funded by the UK’s Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and led by CSSS in partnership with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Imperial College London and the University of Central Lancashire. Under this programme we have worked with an international audience of practitioners to improve the physical protection of nuclear materials, radiological source security and security culture in the university and research institute context. Partnering with key institutions in five countries we have developed and implemented workshops for local audiences on nuclear security culture, its enhancement and approaches to self-assessment. A summary of the activities carried out under this programme and future plans can be found in a paper prepared by Dr Christopher Hobbs, Alberto Muti and Dr Daniel Salisbury for the IAEA 2016 Nuclear Security Conference. Information on past and upcoming activities performed under this programme can be found here.

For more information please contact: Dr Christopher Hobbs and Dr Sarah Tzinieris

Verification of Nuclear Warhead Dismantlement

In partnership with the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency and the Atomic Weapons Establishment UK, CSSS have been undertaking a project since 2013 to inform academic and policy debates about the range of factors that influence the planning and conduct of verification in the context of nuclear disarmament. By focusing on human factors it builds on the technically focused work of the UK-Norway Initiative (UKNI) on disarmament verification. Using tightly controlled simulations it examines the influence of trust and confidence on disarmament verification judgements.

For more information please contact: Dr Hassan El-Bhatimy and Dr Matthew Moran

UK-China Dialogue

From 2013 to 2015, with support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, CSSS convened a Next Generation Nuclear Dialogue between British and Chinese nuclear academics, researchers and practicioners.  The project’s focus was to create and institutionalise a dialogue between, and amongst, young British and Chinese researchers in the field of nuclear arms control and strategic stability. The project ran for three cycles of meetings in China and the UK. The first two cycles were held in partnership with Renmin University of China. The Chinese leg of this year’s dialogue was held at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in Changsha. Additional information on activities performed under this project can be found here.

For more information please contact: Professor Wyn Bowen

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