Lessons for Nuclear Security from the UK’s Response to Covid-19

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Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has complicated nuclear operations around the world including the implementation of nuclear security. While the pandemic’s impact and responses to it have varied from country to country, there exist common challenges faced by the nuclear sector. These include an increase in worker absenteeism due to infections and enforced isolation, restrictions on onsite numbers and the proximity of staff to minimise the risk of transmission, a large-scale transition to remote working and disruption to key supply chains. This policy brief seeks to explore the impact of these and other challenges faced by the UK nuclear sector, examining how they have affected the delivery of security and the efficacy of new measures put in place to mitigate potential risks. It is also important to recognise that despite the unique nature of the Covid-19 pandemic – in terms of its global scale, extended duration and direct effect on humans – responses have nevertheless been informed and shaped by past events and systems for crisis management. Governments and organisations have sought to develop strategies for both anticipating future crises and mitigating their impact. These broader approaches are also discussed in this brief as they provide a useful framework against which efforts to adapt nuclear security arrangements in response to Covid-19 should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationCSSS Occasional Paper Series
PublisherKing's College London
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2022

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