• Bringing in experts from other fields to discuss training in dangerous, high-consequence areas, such as aviation, could be of joint value and interest.
Jointly discussing how to incorporate culture into nuclear security issues would be of benefit to experts from India and the United States.
Baldev Raj began by observing that security has become a key word in people’s discussions. We talk about an idea of security: food security, water security, and nuclear security. What do we mean when we talk about this word security? We mean that we have concerns, and we know that the concerns are not short-lived, and we have to take systematic approaches: Science, technology, policies and implementation to ensure that various types of security are achieved sustainably.
The risks and the security efforts against those risks are national responsibilities, but they have international dimensions due to connectivity. Consequently, countries have responsibilities vis-à-vis international organizations, and we in the international community study the situation and countries’ responses during catastrophes.
Nuclear security includes safety, protection, and nonproliferation. These three pillars are few in number, but the interfaces among them are huge and multidisciplinary, particularly with respect to science and technology. The number of emergencies is increasing, but the maturity in handling these emergencies is increasing at varying rates. Most safety scenarios in today’s facilities develop slowly, whereas security scenarios often develop quickly in unpredictable ways, but safety and security are still interconnected. Nuclear safety can be discussed with complete transparency, but the moment the word ‘security’ is introduced, various levels of opaqueness appear. Because one can speak more transparently about nuclear safety, the maturity of science and technology is much greater, as is the ease of making decisions. This does not mean that one is easier than the other, but there are differences with regard to how much money has been invested, when the programs started, how many people work in which areas, and which analytical tools (e.g., simulation and modeling tools) are available.
The problems are complex. These complexities include a diversity of sources and scenarios. Sources vary from reactors to fabrication facilities to reprocessing to fissile materials during transportation. In the security domain, sometimes responsible parties cannot be transparent. Access in knowledge in databases is provided on an “as and when by whom basis.” In nuclear security, the organizations remain, but the repository of information is with the individual people; they are very different and that is important to decision making. Decision making roles are clear, as they are among people, regulators, bureaucrats, and politicians. Raj is not worried much about sources. He is more worried about gaps in decision making in nuclear security. Rogue countries and their operations, conservative and clear versus bold and realistic. This is always a thin line, but often one needs bold, but realistic decisions; being conservative in this case will not work.