Nuclear Security and Safeguards

The terms safeguards and security are generally used to describe programs that promote the common defense and security and protect public health and safety by guarding against theft and sabotage. The licensee security programs and contingency plans deal with threats, thefts, and sabotage relating to special nuclear material, high-level radioactive wastes, nuclear facilities, and other radioactive materials and activities that the NRC regulates.

The NRC ensures safeguards and security by regulating licensees' (a) accounting systems for special nuclear and source materials and (b) security programs and contingency plans. These responsibilities include:

Sections 3(c) and (e) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as revised, and Section 204(b)(1) of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 give NRC the responsibility for ensuring that the peaceful uses of nuclear energy "make the maximum contribution to the common defense and security and the national welfare, and ... provide continued assurance of the Government's ability to enter into and enforce agreements with nations or groups of nations for the control of special nuclear material."

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