International Training Course


Since 1978, the International Training Course (ITC) has provided almost 1000 global participants with the knowledge and practical skills to effectively analyze, design, and evaluate physical protection systems to prevent radiological sabotage and nuclear material theft. The three-week course on Physical Protection of Nuclear Facilities and Materials, prepared and delivered by Sandia National Laboratories under sponsorship of the National  Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is now the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) flagship training course on physical security.

About Our Course

The ITC is a classroom-based exercise-intensive course that engages participants through lectures by subject matter experts, technology demonstrations, and hands-on practice that enhances the learning experience. The course is based on a three-step systems engineering methodology developed by Sandia:

1. Define Physical Protection System Requirements. 
During the ITC, participants learn how to define what a nuclear facility’s physical protection system is required to do so its effectiveness can be evaluated. Participants study a range of adversaries that the physical protection system must successfully counter. They also identify important information about the facility’s operations, conditions, and physical features that contribute to nuclear security, including identifying the most important areas or material to be protected.

2. Design Physical Protection System.
Participants learn methods for ensuring that a physical protection system can meet its requirements. Participants become familiar with techniques in designing a new system or upgrading an existing system. Combining the elements of detection, delay, and response, participants learn how to construct and maintain an effective system that protects against the capabilities of a potential adversary.

3. Evaluate Physical Protection System Design.
Participants are taught how to use analysis techniques to measure a system’s effectiveness. After being provided with three-dimensional (3D) models and data about the threat, targets, and physical protection system at a mock facility, the participants evaluate the system’s effectiveness and then design upgrades, if necessary. The 3D models help the participants see spatial relationships among protection elements, which elicits a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities.  Participants apply what they have learned through a final comprehensive exercise.

About Our Instructors

Our instructors are nuclear security experts, who deliver lectures, conduct demonstrations, and assist during hands-on exercises. Their expertise covers topics such as IAEA Recommendations on Physical Security, Facility Characterization, Risk Management, Access Delay, Path Analysis, Scenario Analysis, Nuclear Material Accountability and Control, and Transportation Security. Guest lecturers from the U.S. government and other countries also speak at the ITC on key physical security topics, encouraging the sharing of perspectives and exchange of best practices.

About Our Participants

The ITC focus is on improving the security of nuclear facilities and materials at their source.  Participants include personnel from IAEA member countries with responsibilities for designing, installing, operating, maintaining, inspecting, performance testing, and assessing nuclear security systems.

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Predefined sets of actions for response to unauthorized acts indicative of attempted unauthorized removal or sabotage, including threats thereof, designed to effectively counter such acts are known as:

  • Contingency plans
  • Site plans
  • Guard Plans
  • Security plans

[Blank] is a tool used to evaluate a Physical Protection Systems effectiveness consistent with the design basis threat.

is a tool used to evaluate a Physical Protection Systems effectiveness consistent with the design basis threat.

Introduction to ITC and DEPO