Gamma Working Group round up of 2023

The iia Gamma Working Group (GWG) continued to progress its various initiatives during 2023 with good engagement by its members and partners. Thank you to all individuals that contributed and the organisations that participated in trials and assessments during the year.

  • Cybersecurity Project

The ultimate objective of this project is to produce cybersecurity guidance specifically for the gamma irradiation industry. The initial step is to better understand the considerations for irradiator operators and this is done by performing cybersecurity vulnerability assessments. An assessment was performed at a European irradiator by cybersecurity experts from Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and a confidential report that summarises observations, makes recommendations and highlights the good practice of the irradiator operator has been produced.  We are pleased to report that SNL has since secured funding to expand the project with the same irradiator operator.  The project will now support the operator in developing and implementing an integrated cyber/physical/operational security system during 2024.  This is a great example of collaboration between GWG and its partners and how members can benefit from participation.

  • Pool Obscurant Project

GWG provided important feedback on an irradiator security system that is under development by the US Office of Radiological Security (ORS).  The system is intended to obscure or visually hide sources inside an irradiator pool should theft of the a source be attempted by an adversary. Detailed feedback on various technical and operational factors was provided by industry via GWG and this resulted in the system being modified in an effort to make it more acceptable to the irradiation industry. Most recently, a survey was sent to select irradiator operators with the objective of both gathering perspectives on the level of security achieved at irradiation facilities and to gauge interest in participating in the development of the ORS obscurant project. We are pleased to confirm that ORS is now in discussion with potential partners with whom they will further develop the specification of the system and then install a pilot system.

  • Security Effectiveness Self-Assessment Methodology

This methodology has been drafted and is currently being trialed by an irradiator operator.  The joint iia/WINS (World Institute for Nuclear Security) methodology document will be published by end-February 2024.

  • Gamma Irradiation Webinar

Three members of GWG contributed to the iia webinar ‘Gamma Irradiation for Today and the Future’ in November 2023.  The webinar focused and updated on the important topics of cobalt-60, sustainability and cybersecurity.  Members of iia can read a summary of the webinar and see copies of the cobalt-60 and sustainability presentations at this link.

It is anticipated that GWG will move its focus away from security in 2024 other than completion of the cybersecurity and self-assessment methodology projects. Objectives for 2024 will be discussed at the next GWG meeting that will be held in early 2024.  It is anticipated that greater attention will be given to advocacy of gamma irradiation and potentially a project around sustainability of the technology.

Please contact Martin Comben at if you wish to participate in the Gamma Working Group in 2024.

Sign up to receive our newsletter