Nuclear Safeguards and Security Course

June 16 – 20, 2014, EC-JRC, Geel

This course focuses on providing fundamental principles for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and development of technology related to measurement and detection of nuclear materials. It will provide advanced knowledge of nuclear security, nuclear non-proliferation, and safeguards using demonstrations in mock-up nuclear facilities and classroom lectures. This will be done with a view to raising awareness among the participants – who may deal with threats involving radioactive/nuclear materials in their professional future – and to build a security culture on the model of the safety culture that has already been established and shared between the nuclear member states.

This course is organised by SCK•CEN in collaboration with EC-JRC Geel.

  • Basic safeguards concepts
  • Safeguards measures
  • Hands-on exercises
  • Complementary safeguards measures
  • Conceptual workshop
  • Nuclear security

The course is open to Master and PhD students coming from the GENTLE partners, but also to students coming from other institutions, and to professionals dealing with the course topics in their daily practices.

Intersemester Course: Nuclear Safeguards and Security

EQF 7      3 ECTS

Contact hours: 35      Assignment hours: 24      Self-study hours: 0

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Learning outcomes:

  • Recall the basis of safeguards
  • Explain the basic safeguards elements like significant quantity, etc.
  • Distinguish various safeguards measures and assess (dis)advantages of discussed measures
  • Apply gamma-ray spectroscopy to safeguards
  • Explain how neutron coincidence measurements are carried out
  • Categorize the complementary safeguards measures
  • Justify the use of the chosen measures in the developped safeguards approach
  • Execute U enrichment measurements
  • Manipulate with guidance neutron detectors
  • Design a comprehensive safeguards approach for a given nuclear installation
  • Support the safeguards culture of his/her organization
  • Formulate proposals to improve safeguards implementation
  • Balance the interests of safeguards and security implementation Commit oneself to international values of safeguards
  • Apply principles for protection of nuclear facilities to the development of an effective physical protection program for their facilities

Education method

Face to face lectures, hands-on laboratories exercise, participative workshop

Pre-requisites and mandatory literature

  • Basic knowledge of nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear physics



Download programme as PDF »


  • Passive Nondestructive Assay of Nuclear Materials, 1991, NUREG/CR-5550, LA-UR-90-732
  • Safeguards Techniques And Equipment: 2011 Edition, IAEA

Main lecturers

Klaas van der Meer (SCK•CEN)
Klaas van der Meer holds a Master degree in physics from the University of Amsterdam and in engineering from the Technical University of Delft. He has more than 25 years of experience in safeguards, ranging from gamma spectrometry applied to inspections in Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plants to more conceptual work in developing safeguards approaches for e.g. research reactors and geological repositories. He is president of the European Safeguards Research and Development Association ESARDA from 2013 till 2014. Since 1990 he works at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN.

Riccardo Rossa (SCK•CEN)

Riccardo Rossa got a Master Degree in Energy and Nuclear Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin in 2011. In February 2012 he moved to EC-JRC Karlsruhe in Ispra in the Nuclear Security Unit, where he performed a feasibility study on the PDET detector for the partial defect verification of spent fuel. He was also part of the ITRAP+10 team for the detection of illicit trafficking of radioactive material. In October 2012 he started a 4-year PhD research at SCK•CEN with the Université Libre de Bruxelles on the topic of “Advanced non-destructive methods for criticality safety and safeguards of used nuclear fuel”.

Klaus Mayer (ITU)

Klaus Mayer obtained his Ph.D. work in 1987 in the field of radiochemistry and analytical chemistry from the University of Karlsruhe. He then worked for two years at the Institute for Transuranium Elements as post-doctoral researcher. From 1990-1996, he was working for the European Commission at IRMM Geel (Belgium) on actinide isotopic reference materials, high accuracy mass spectrometric measurements of U, Pu and Th, the organization of an external quality control programme for nuclear material measurements and the coordination of support activities to Euratom safeguards office and to IAEA. In 1996, he started working at JRC Karlsruhe on the development and application of destructive analytical methods for nuclear safeguards purposes. From 1997 to 2010 he chaired the ESARDA Working Group on Destructive Analysis. Today, he is in charge of ITU’s activities on combating illicit trafficking and nuclear forensics. Since 2004 he is co-chairman of the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG).

Alessandro Borella (SCK•CEN)

A. Borella holds a master degree in Nuclear Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano and a PhD in Physics from the Gent Universiteit. As a post-doc researcher he worked at Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique and at the Institute for Reference Material and Measurements, where he carried out neutron cross section measurements and data analysis. In addition, he contributed to the development of the neutron resonance analysis for the determination of the isotopic composition of objects. Since 2009, he is part of the scientific staff at SCK•CEN, where he works on composition of objects. Since 2009, he is part of the scientific staff at
SCK CEN, where he works on NDA measurements methods and simulation techniques applied to material under safeguards with particular emphasis on spent fuel.

Peter Schillebeeckx (JRC Geel)

P. Schillebeeckx got his PhD at the university of Ghent in 1988. He started his professional career at the Institute Laue Langevin where he was scientific responsible for gamma-ray spectrometers installed at the high flux reactors. In 1989 he joined the EC-JRC at Ispra. At the JRC Ispra he was scientific responsible for the development of measurement techniques for the Non Destructive Assay (NDA) of nuclear material based on active and passive neutron assay, gamma spectroscopy and calorimetry. Since 2001 he is working at the JRC in Geel where he is the scientific responsible for measurements at the TOF-facility GELINA with an emphasis on capture and total cross section measurements in the resonance region.

Rožle Jakopič (JRC Geel)

Rožle Jakopič received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 2008 at the University of Ljubljana. He joined the European Commission in 2006 and has been working in the Nuclear Safeguards of the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (JRC Geel) in Geel, Belgium. He is responsible for the nuclear chemistry laboratory where his main activities include managing and coordinating the preparation and certification of nuclear certified reference materials (CRMs). Before joining the JRC Geel, he was employed at Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana.

Benny Carlé (SCK•CEN)

Benny Carlé received his engineering degree in 1985 at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), with specialization in Applied Physics. After an initial career in ICT, he joined the Belgian Nuclear Research Center in 1994 as ICT manager.
In total over 20 years experience in nuclear research, in the domain of security and emergency response, focusing on the science/society interface, including methodology development for complex multi actor exercises, stakeholder involvement processes for professional actors and lay people in preparedness, response and rehabilitation phase of an emergency and training on both technical aspects of risk assessments during crisis, organisational aspects of response and policy development and decision making.
As SCK•CEN’s security coordinator, since five years responsible for the general security policy, security risk assessment, design and evaluation of the physical protection systems, security culture training, trustworthiness policies, managing the access control processes, and ICT security.
Trainer in operational emergency management and high level emergency management course of the Belgian civil security authorities, fire brigade schools and police training centers. Participant, work package leader and project mgr. in several European Research projects on nuclear emergency management and on safety and security. Numerous assignments for the Belgian authorities (federal crisis center, federal direction civil security, public health authorities, …) on policy development, exercise methodology and coordination and on multi actor process coordination development. Participation in numerous workshops and training courses on all aspects of nuclear security. Chairperson of the 2011 and 2013 IAEA-workshops on safety security synergy and interfaces for nuclear research reactors.

Download the programme in PDF format

The training course is given in English.

It is a pre-requisite to have a basic knowledge of nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear physics.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to

In terms of knowledge:

  • Recall the basis of safeguards & security
  • Explain basic safeguards & security elements like significant quantity, material categorization, DBT, defence in depth, etc.
  • Understand, illustrate and use the graded approach and the detect – delay – response principle
  • Distinguish various safeguards measures and assess (dis)advantages of discussed measures
  • Apply gamma-ray spectroscopy to safeguards
  • Explain how neutron coincidence measurements are carried out

In terms of skills:

  • Execute U enrichment measurements
  • Manipulate with guidance neutron detectors
  • Design a comprehensive safeguards approach for a given nuclear installation
  • Design a comprehensive physical protection system for a given nuclear installation

In terms of competences:

  • Support the safeguards & security cultures of his/her organization
  • Formulate proposals to improve security & safeguards implementation
  • Balance the interests of safeguards and security implementation
  • This training course is free of charge for Master and PhD students (coming from GENTLE partners and other institutions).

Registration info

This course is organised in the frame of the European project GENTLE (323304,

Registration via this link is mandatory. There is no registration fee. Lunch will be offered free of charge.

Deadline for registrations:

– for non-EU citizins: April 11, 2014

– for EU citizins: May 12, 2014

Deadlines for registrations are based on the time needed to fulfill the access control.


Limited places are available at the SCK•CEN dormitories (budget-friendly). For reservations, please contact Nora Lemmens at, tel. + 32 14 33 23 74, as soon as possible. Places are only guaranteed until April 2014. More information about the prices can be found on

Alternatively we have also made pre-reservations at the SCK•CEN Club-House. Reservations should be confirmed via

Prices are:

– Single room parking view: 73 € (breakfast incl.)

– Single room lake side: 83 € (breakfast incl.)

Payment of the accommodation should be covered by the participants.Transport from the SCK•CEN Club-House/dormitories (lodging) to EC-JRC Geel (course venue) will be offered free of charge.


Michèle Coeck
Head SCK•CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology

+32 14 33 21 80


Griet Vanderperren
Liaison officer SCK•CEN Academy for Nuclear Science and Technology

+32 14 33 21 57



Retieseweg 111
2440 Geel