National Progress Report: Spain


At The Hague Summit 2014, the Spanish Government pledged to carry out a series of measures that would contribute to improving Global Nuclear Security. These are: (1) Promoting the entry into force of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM); (2) Developing a National Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540; (3) Fostering a nuclear security culture on a national scale; (4) Joining the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

In order to strengthen specific technical areas of nuclear security, Spain supported the following Gift Baskets: (1) the National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security; (2) Strengthening the nuclear security implementation; (3) Forensics in Nuclear security; (4) Enhancing the security of the maritime supply chain; (5) Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres/Centres of Excellence.

This report focuses on the measures adopted for legal and regulatory development; for developing technical, human and operational capabilities to ensure the security of nuclear and radioactive material and facilities; and for strengthening international bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.

II. LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK: National Implementation and Support for the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and UN Security Council Resolution 1540

1)     In 2007 Spain ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Since then Spain has been integrating the provisions of this Convention into its national legal system and has been working for the international promotion of the entry into force of this Amendment.

2)      Since The Hague Summit, Spain has made remarkable progress in adapting its legal and regulatory framework to the international instruments and regulations. More specifically, in September 2015 Spain approved a new National Security Act (Ley 36/2015 of 28 de September) which defines the national security system, assigns responsibilities to the different departments of the Government, and organizes the management of prevention and response to national threats.

Furthermore, Spain has amended and updated its regulations for the physical protection of nuclear material and facilities (RD 1308/2011) through a new Royal Decree 1086/2015 of 4 December, with the aim of: (1) Incorporating the new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommendations; (2) Adapting it to the new threats, including cyber and insider threats; (3) Improving law enforcement forces response; (4) Incorporating the basic elements of the new 2013 national cyber-security strategy; (5) Taking into account experience and lessons learned since the ratification in 2007 of the Amendment to the Convention (CPPNM).

In order to foster the entry into force of the 2005 Amendment to the 1987 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, Spain’s embassies with representation in 37 States have carried out demarches aimed at accelerating their ratification process of this Amendment.

3)      The Spanish “National Security Council” approved the National Action Plan for Compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on 24 April 2015. The 1540 Action Plan establishes appropriate measures for the full implementation of Resolution 1540 and those of nuclear security in particular. In addition, from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016, Spain is chairing the 1540 Committee of the UN Security Council. In 2016 Spain will lead the “Global Review” for a full and universal implementation of Resolution 1540.

III. DEVELOPING NATIONAL CAPABILITIES: National Security and Security of Nuclear and Radioactive Material and Facilities

1. Security of Material and Facilities

Spain has made substantial progress on the security of its nuclear material and facilities: (1) The Physical Protection Plans for nuclear facilities have been amended, incorporating protection criteria specified in the national Regulations on Protection of Critical Infrastructures (Act 8/2014 and RD 704/2011); (2) A new protection model has been developed for the comprehensive protection of nuclear facilities by Security Forces; (3) Insider Trustworthiness programmes have been developed for monitoring personnel at nuclear facilities; (4) Criteria have been included for protecting data and computerized control systems in the physical protection plans.

Regarding the security of transportation of nuclear and other radioactive materials, the Spanish Nuclear Regulatory Authority (Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear, CSN) continues to develop technical standards on transport security. In this regard, the Ministry of the Interior organized in 2015 a national exercise on security in land transportation of spent fuel from nuclear power plants.

As regards the security of radioactive sources, the CSN is drawing up the technical standards on the requirements for the physical protection of sources in categories 1, 2 and 3, as well as the practices to guarantee the physical protection of those in categories 4 and 5. Spain continues to provide support to other States for them to strengthen security measures for their radioactive sources. Spain also chairs the open-ended international Working Group on developing international guidance for the security of disused radioactive sources, to complement the provisions of the “Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources”.

The Spanish Nuclear regulatory Authority (CSN), together with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is organizing the “Second International Regulators Conference on Nuclear Security” which will take place in Madrid in May 2016.

2. Developing Nuclear Detection and Nuclear Forensic Techniques

Spain continued developing its national nuclear detection architecture. Spain’s current detection capabilities make it possible to carry out radiological monitoring on more than 80% of the national maritime cargo containers. Progress continues on the development and implementation of the national plan for nuclear radiation detection in cross-border areas. In addition, with the participation of the Ministry of Defence, a National Maritime Security Strategy has been adopted. A Spanish delegation participated in the international Nuclear Security Summit Maritime Security Workshop organized by the United Kingdom and the United States in November 2015. The international experts agreed on the need to review the duties of customs agents and to develop comprehensive nuclear security systems in port facilities.

Spain’s National Nuclear Forensics Task Force, led by the Ministry of the Interior, is now working towards establishing a technical-operational procedure which will integrate all the technical areas and operational groups involved in Nuclear Forensics, including prevention, detection and respond to nuclear security events.

3. Promoting a Nuclear Security Culture: Technological and Human Capacity-Building

Spanish institutions regularly organize, in cooperation with the IAEA, national and international courses on nuclear security. As part of these activities, Spain organized, together with the IAEA, an International Workshop on Nuclear Security Culture in Madrid from 29 February to 4 March 2016. Seventy international experts from 40 countries convened in Madrid to work, together with Spanish experts, with the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Culture Model for nuclear facilities.

As part of national efforts to promote security culture and to develop know-how and technologies relating to nuclear security, Spain’s National Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT) has signed specific agreements with the European Commission’s Research Centres seeking to promote human and technological capacity-building in the physical protection of nuclear and radioactive material and associated facilities. In this context, CIEMAT has established joint training programmes with national Law Enforcement Forces and the Army.

In order to promote nuclear security in Spanish industry, it is worth noting that the Spanish Nuclear Society, a non-profit association of professionals and institutions, held its annual meetings in the autumn of 2014 and 2015. These meetings include the participation of representatives from the nuclear industry and academia and, increasingly, presentations on nuclear security.

IV. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: International Coordination, Cooperation with International Organizations and Initiatives, Multilateral and Bilateral Relations

1. Support for the Nuclear Security Summits Process

Spain has been very present and active in the Nuclear Security Summits process. In Washington Spain will support the official Communiqué and the five institutional Action Plans. Spain, together with Morocco, has led and successfully concluded the preparation of the Action Plan supporting the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). Spain, together with Canada and the Republic of Korea, has prepared and submitted to the Summit a “Joint Statement” for improving the implementation of Resolution 1540.

2. Support for the IAEA’s Nuclear Security-Related Activities

Spain has made a contribution to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund. Spanish experts participate in nuclear security-related activities organized by the IAEA. Spain is a permanent member of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Standards Committee and it is represented on the Organizing Committee for the Second International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security to be held in Vienna in late 2016. Spain contributes actively to the development and implementation of the IAEA’s technical programme and it is an active member of the Illicit Trafficking Database. During this period, Spain has contributed with technical experts to the improvement and implementation of International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) missions.

3. Contribution to Other International Nuclear Security-Related Initiatives: The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and The G7 Global Partnership

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Spain continued to play a key role in the GICNT. During these years, Spain has insisted on the need to prioritize practical activities, such as technical workshops and exercises on realistic security scenarios. At the Plenary Meeting held in Helsinki in 2015, Spain presented its strategic proposals for the Initiative’s future: (1) Review, in light of the rapid evolution of terrorist threats, the Initiative’s priorities and technical working plans on the basis of its eight principles; (2) Promote technological development and scientific knowledge, among the Initiative’s members, with regard to combating nuclear terrorism.

In compliance with the commitment it undertook at the latest Nuclear Security Summit, in 2014 Spain joined the G7 Global Partnership (GP) against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

4. Bilateral Cooperation

Spain has continued to work with the international community to prevent and improve response to security incidents related to nuclear and radioactive material and facilities. Particularly relevant here is the cooperation with Morocco. Spain and Morocco have made substantial joint progress on combating nuclear terrorism and establishing a system to enable enhanced protection of nuclear and radioactive material and their associated facilities. As part of this joint effort, Spain and Morocco organized in Madrid, from 27 to 19 October 2015, and in collaboration with the IAEA, a joint exercise called Gate to Africa, on security in the transportation of radioactive sources. Sixty-four observers from the IAEA Member States and representatives from seven international organizations took part in the Gate to Africa exercise, which constituted a major contribution to strengthening the international nuclear security system.

This bilateral relationship between Morocco and Spain, established during the past eight years, has set an international standard that will be promoted as a model at the GICNT and the IAEA.