The mission of the Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence (NSCOE) is to support the sustainability of the national nuclear security capabilities ensuring that they remain effective and correspond needs and requirements over a longer time. Specifically, the NSCOE provides sustainability services to stakeholders’ organizations that are necessary for building and implementing their nuclear security functions.

The objectives of the NSCOE are to contribute to the sustainable and effective nuclear security regime through the provision of the human resource development and technical support services to the multiple national stakeholders as well as to support the development of the national nuclear security capabilities and interagency cooperation and coordination.

The activities of the NSCOE have been based on good international practice, experience and recommendations. The publications, methodology and training provided from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), USA entities and initiatives, UK and other countries have been consistently used developing NSCOE projects.

The Lithuanian NSCOE has been operating within the State Border Guard Service at the MOI of the Republic of Lithuania since 2012. The establishment process was guided by the IAEA publication on the Establishment of the Nuclear Security Support Centre (TECDOC 1734). Its scope, objectives and functions were discussed and identified during the consultations where all institutions with nuclear security responsibilities participated.

Nowadays the NSCOE is a structural unit of the State Border Guard Service’s (SBGS) Border Control Management Board and responsible for:

  • Nuclear security training and exercise development and implementation for the national stakeholders;
  • Managing and supervising radiation detection activities at the state border;
  • Providing support and technical advice to first-line officers resolving detection cases;
  • managing SBBGS radiation detection infrastructure including equipment maintenance and repair functions;
  • Collection, analysis and sharing of good practices and lessons learned;
  • Participation in developing and enhancing nuclear emergency preparedness capabilities;
  • Systematic development of interagency cooperation, coordination as well as enhancing international cooperation.

NSCOE is a member of the Interagency Working Group on the Matters of Nuclear Security established by the Prime Minister (of Lithuania) in 2012. The Working Group submits proposals to the Prime Minister on the improvement of actions of the Government agencies in response to nuclear security incidents; development and improvement of regulations on countering smuggling and other illicit circulation of nuclear and other radioactive material in Lithuania; improvement of Government agency planning and actions in response to nuclear and radiological emergencies and nuclear incidents; improvement of interagency cooperation and interagency cooperation.

The Working Group also coordinates national competent authorities’ cooperation with partner countries, IAEA and other international organizations. It also provides proposals on the priority areas and scopes the NSCOE activities.

The main NSCOE partners and stakeholders are specialized agencies – Radiation Protection Centre and State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate; Law enforcement agencies are the target recipients of the NSCOE services; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the implementation of the international projects, informs foreign partners on NSCOE activities and cooperation opportunities.

Responding to the emerging regional nuclear emergency threats, the NSCOE has been actively involved in planning, development and testing of the national and institutional preparedness capabilities. Specifically, the NSCOE contributes developing the State Border Guard Service’s capabilities (procedures, equipment, training) to achieve its objectives set by the National Plan for the population‘ protection in case of the nuclear emergency.

History of NSCOE

In 2012-16, Lithuania actively participated in the processes of the Nuclear Security Summits. On 26 – 27 March 2012, the second Nuclear Security Summit was held in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, where the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Her Excellency Dalia Grybauskaitė presented a national progress report and the practical contribution of Lithuania to the global fight against nuclear security threats. The President stated that the Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence (NSCOE) would be established in Lithuania to develop national and international capabilities to prevent the illicit proliferation of nuclear and other radioactive material, as well as to reduce the terrorist threat.