IAEA Technical Meeting on Nuclear Security Countermeasures for Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles

  • When Oct 30, 2023 09:00 AM to Nov 03, 2023 03:00 PM (US/Central / UTC-500)
  • Where Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Contact Name
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The growing sophistication, availability, and adaptability of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles, commonly referred to as UAV, UAS, or drones, have made them both an emerging capability and threat for nuclear security. From a nuclear security threat perspective, modern UAVs come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, cost, and capabilities. Given the rapid growth in the drone industry and availability of systems, it is difficult to know how to design a solution for present threats and even more difficult to determine how effective a solution to the threat today will work for future threats. High endurance, high payload capability, autonomous, single or swarms of UAV(s) will become increasingly difficult to protect against and will require advanced Counter-Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (CUAV) technology and policies. Security may need to shift their focus from solely ground based threats to both ground and airborne threats, and this requires new physical security methods and technologies to ensure the protection of nuclear facilities or material in transit.

Greater understanding and assessment of UAV threats are needed for the development of threat basis, legal and regulatory approaches, specifications, and deployment and operation of nuclear security countermeasures.

The Technical Meeting on Nuclear Security Countermeasures for Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles will address the current state of UAV platforms, payloads, and capabilities and discuss how a CUAV capability (technology and policy) can be developed and deployed to address current and future nuclear security threats.


The primary objective of this technical meeting is to address pressing concerns regarding Nuclear Security Countermeasures for Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles. The meeting will be jointly hosted by the Division of Nuclear Security and Government of the United States of America and will focus on building capacity and understanding within Member States regarding this topic.

Additional objectives include:

  • Define the nuclear security scenarios relevant to CUAV (e.g., attack on nuclear facility, attack on nuclear material transport, radiological attack using UAV(s) during a major public event, and smuggling of nuclear material)
  • Characterize the capabilities of UAV and CUAV technologies that are currently available on the market and the relevance to current Design Basis Threat assessments;
  • Discuss legal, regulatory, policy, and operational issues associated with CUAV technologies;
  • Encourage information sharing related to best practices for use and evaluation;
  • Discuss future CUAV performance test methods that are related to field and operational environments; and
  • Capture Member State needs and functional requirements that can be used to inform guidance and specifications.

Target Audience

Individuals with expertise relative to CUAV issues in terms of policy and regulations; design basis threat and threat analysis; design and operation of physical protection systems; and specification, testing, and use of CUAV technologies. Target participants shall have extensive relevant experience and be capable of making a presentation in English to support discussions and document preparation on the topic.

Working Language

All presentations and panels will be held in English.

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