Monitoring for inadvertent movement and illicit trafficking of radioactive material

This document specifies methods and means of monitoring for inadvertent movement and illicit trafficking of radioactive material. It provides guidelines on the use of both stationary and portable, for example hand-held, instruments to monitor for radiation signatures from radioactive material. Emphasis is placed on the operational aspects, i.e., requirements derived for monitoring of traffic and commodities mainly at border-crossing facilities. Although the term border is used repeatedly in this document, it is meant to apply not only to international land borders but also maritime ports, airports, and similar locations where goods or individuals are being checked. This document does not specifically address the issue of detection of radioactive materials at recycling facilities, although it is recognized that transboundary movement of metals for recycling occurs, and that monitoring of scrap metals might be done at the borders of a state. This document is applicable to — regulatory bodies and other competent authorities seeking guidance on implementation of action plans to combat illicit trafficking, — law enforcement agencies, for example border guards, to obtain guidelines on recommended monitoring procedures, — equipment manufacturers in order to understand minimum requirements derived from operational necessities according to this document, and — end-users of radiation detection equipment applicable to this document.

Surveillance des mouvements non déclarés et des trafics illicites de matière radioactive

Le présent document spécifie des méthodes et moyens de surveillance des mouvements non déclarés et des trafics illicites de matière radioactive. Il fournit des lignes directrices d’utilisation d’instruments fixes et mobiles, par exemple des instruments portables, qui permettent de rechercher les signatures de rayonnement de matières radioactives. Il insiste particulièrement sur les aspects opérationnels, c’est-à-dire les exigences établies pour la surveillance de la circulation et des marchandises, surtout au niveau des passages de frontières. Bien que le terme frontière soit fréquemment utilisé dans le présent document, il convient d’indiquer qu’il désigne ici non seulement les frontières terrestres internationales, mais également les ports maritimes, les aéroports et endroits similaires où l’on contrôle des marchandises ou des personnes. Le présent document ne traite pas spécifiquement la question de la détection des matières radioactives au niveau des installations de recyclage bien qu’il soit reconnu que des mouvements transfrontaliers de métaux à recycler interviennent et que la surveillance de métaux de rebut puisse se faire aux frontières d’un État. Le présent document s’applique: — aux organismes de réglementation et aux autres autorités compétentes qui souhaitent obtenir des recommandations sur la mise en œuvre des plans d’action de lutte contre le trafic illicite; — les organismes chargés de l’application de la loi, par exemple les gardes-frontières, afin d’obtenir des lignes directrices sur les procédures de contrôle recommandées; — aux fabricants d’équipements afin de comprendre les exigences minimales découlant des nécessités opérationnelles conformément au présent document; — aux utilisateurs finaux d’équipements de détection de rayonnements applicables au présent document.

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ISO 22188:2023 - Monitoring for inadvertent movement and illicit trafficking of radioactive material Released:23. 08. 2023
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Second edition
Monitoring for inadvertent movement
and illicit trafficking of radioactive
Surveillance des mouvements non déclarés et des trafics illicites de
matière radioactive
Reference number
© ISO 2023
All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may
be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on
the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below
or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
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CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Published in Switzerland
Contents Page
Foreword .iv
Introduction . vi
1 Scope . 1
2 Normative references . 1
3 Terms and definitions . 2
4 Monitoring . 4
4.1 Overview . 4
4.2 Training requirements for border agents, inspectors and first responders . 7
4.3 Monitoring instruments . 7
4.3.1 General . 7
4.3.2 Personal radiation devices . 8
4.3.3 Hand-held instruments. 9
4.3.4 Hand-held radionuclide identification devices (RIDs) . 10
4.3.5 Installed radiation portal monitors . 11
4.3.6 Mobile systems . . .13
4.3.7 Backpack-type radiation detectors . 14
4.3.8 Active interrogation and imaging systems . 14
5 Radiation monitoring at checkpoints .15
5.1 General . 15
5.2 Important considerations .15
5.3 Verification . . 16
5.4 Localization . 16
5.5 Identification . 16
5.6 Search techniques, operational response and follow-up . 16
6 Cyber assurance for monitoring instruments .16
6.1 General . 16
6.2 Risk-based good practice . 17
6.3 Operational aspects . 17
Annex A (informative) Alarms and threshold levels .18
Annex B (informative) Possible trafficked devices and radionuclides.22
Annex C (informative) Examples of naturally occurring radioactive materials .23
Bibliography .24
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described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the
different types of ISO document should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the
editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see
ISO draws attention to the possibility that the implementation of this document may involve the use
of (a) patent(s). ISO takes no position concerning the evidence, validity or applicability of any claimed
patent rights in respect thereof. As of the date of publication of this document, ISO had not received
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This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 85, Nuclear energy, nuclear technologies
and radiological protection, Subcommittee SC 2, Radiological protection.
This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO 22188:2004), which has been technically
The main changes are as follows:
— Update of the introduction, considering the continuous development of technology.
— Update of Clause 2.
— There were 14 terms and definitions listed in the first edition (ISO 22188:2004). According to
related standards and IAEA technical documents,
— the following terms have been deleted: 3.1 control of radioactive material, 3.9 non-proliferation,
3.10 physical protection, 3.12 response, 3.13 safeguards and 3.14 special nuclear material;
— the following terms have been added: 3.1 check source, 3.2 competent authority, 3.3 computer
security, 3.9 nuclear material, 3.10 radioactive contamination, 3.11 radioactive material,
3.12 radiological monitoring, 3.13 radionuclide, 3.15 threat, 3.16 threat assessment and 3.17
threshold level. Terms and definitions count updated to 17.
— According to the standard’s title, “instruments” in the title of Clause 4 was deleted. Originally, there
were 4 types of instruments categorized in the first edition (ISO 22188:2004); they were pocket-
type instruments, hand-held instruments, installed instruments and radionuclide identifiers. In
this second edition, the kinds of devices are updated to 7. Individually, they are personal radiation
devices, hand-held instruments, hand-held radionuclide identification devices, installed radiation
portal monitors, mobile systems, backpack-type radiation detectors, active interrogation and
imaging systems. For each instrument the general characteristics, operation, calibration and
routine testing, minimum performance requirements and test methods are presented. References
to the IEC standards covering the performance requirements for these types of instruments were
added and the requirements listed in this document were removed.
— This document primarily covers radiological monitoring at borders from a technical and operational
viewpoint. Whether, when or where to establish radiological monitoring at borders should be the
result of a comprehensive national regulatory strategy for radioactive material control. Therefore,
the training requirements for border agents, inspectors and first responders have been added (see
— Radiation monitoring systems, particularly those which are networked, connected to the internet or
use cloud services, are vulnerable to a range of cyber threats. The computer security of these systems
seeks to maintain the integrity, accessibility, authenticity and, where required, the confidentiality
of data and instrument control. Guidance from national authorities for computer security should
be sought by end-users for maintaining business continuity and reliability of radiation monitoring
services and systems. A new Clause 6 has been added to deal with this issue.
— Parts of Annex A, and all of Annex B and Annex C were integrated into the text of Clauses 4 and 5
of the revised document. Annex D was eliminated and references to applicable IEC standards were
given for performance requirements and test methods. Annex A was rewritten and simplified as
Alarms and threshold levels. A new Annex B was added to list the possible trafficked devices and
radionuclides. Examples of naturally occurring radioactive material remain as Annex C.
— Update of the Bibliography.
Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A
complete listing of these bodies can be found at
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB) system
has been recording incidents of inadvertent movement and illicit trafficking of nuclear and other
radioactive materials since 1995. Although the numbers of reported incidents fluctuate over time, those
related to trafficking or malicious use remain a concern. A small number of these reported incidents
involve seizures of potentially weapons-usable nuclear material, but the majority involve unauthorized
activities including stolen or missing radioactive material and the detection of contaminated
manufactured goods. Examples include unintentional incorporation of radioactive materials into
recycled steel, handling of lost radioactive sources by unsuspecting individuals, and deliberate theft of
radioactive material.
The potential radiological hazard to workers, the general public and the environment caused by
misappropriated radioactive materials adds an additional threat to inadvertent movement and illicit
trafficking. There have been instances in which loss of control over radioactive materials has led to
serious, even fatal, consequences. Detection of radioactive materials at border crossings as well as
maritime ports, airports and inside countries, for example at check points, is therefore an important
This document addresses the procedural aspects of detecting radioactive materials. The procedural
aspects cover the techniques to search, locate and possibly identify radioactive substances. Guidelines
for appropriate training programs and maintenance of equipment are also considered a relevant aspect.
Instruments used in the pro

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