World Institute for Nuclear Security

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World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS)

The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) is a first-of-its-kind organisation designed to provide a forum to share best practices in strengthening the physical protection and security of nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities worldwide. Launched in September 2008 during the 52nd IAEA General Conference, WINS is bringing together nuclear security experts, the nuclear industry, governments, academia and international organisations to focus on rapid and sustainable improvement of security at nuclear facilities around the world.

WINS is located in Vienna, Austria and is an international non-governmental organisation that receives its funding support from governments, foundations and corporations involved in nuclear security.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the United States Department of Energy and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) partnered to develop and launch WINS, in close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Following a certification audit led by Quality Austria in December 2015, WINS is among the first organisations to be certified to the new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System standards. WINS is also certified against the ISO 29990:2010 standards.

WINS' current Executive Director is Dr. Roger Howsley and WINS has 12 staff.

As of June 2016, WINS produced a suite of Best Practice Guides that covers 36 topics in nuclear security management, increased its membership to 3360+ members who are from 118 countries, and held over 70workshops in approximately 20 countries.

About WINS[edit]

WINS is a membership-based organisation that brings together those accountable for nuclear security professionals to help identify and share best practices in nuclear security management. The Economist wrote in October 2008, "WINS is a place where for the first time those with practical responsibility for looking after nuclear materials - governments, power plant operators, laboratories, universities - can swap ideas and develop best practices." [1]

WINS provides a sustainable forum in the form of workshops for identifying and promoting best practices and makes its publications available to all of its members worldwide.

The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the United States Department of Energy and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) partnered to develop and launch WINS in close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


WINS has a Board of Directors that provides strategic direction and corporate governance and is led by an Executive Director, who is supported by a small international staff chosen for their experience.

Members of WINS Board of Directors are experts and influential in their respective fields. Current Board members are: –Mr. William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Harvard University (Chairman of the WINS Board of Directors) –Mr. Duncan Hawthorne, CEO, Bruce Power –Dr Paul Harding, Executive Director, Commercial, URENCO Enrichment Company -Dr Joan B. Woodard, Executive Vice President Emeritus, Sandia National Laboratories -Dr John Barrett, President and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Association

Previous Board Members include Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe, Japan Institute of International Affairs; Ms. Corey Hinderstein,US Department of Energy; Ms. Nancy Jo Nicholas, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Mr. Hahm Chaibong, President, ASAN Institute; Ms. Cecile Maisonneuve and Mr. Jean Noel Poirer of AREVA; and Mr. Charles B. Curtis (Nuclear Threat Initiative), former Chair of the Board.

The first and current Executive Director is Dr. Roger Howsley.

WINS Vision[edit]

All nuclear and other radiological materials and facilities are effectively secured by demonstrably competent professionals applying best practice to achieve operational excellence.

WINS Mission[edit]

To be the leader in professional development and certification for nuclear security management.

WINS Membership[edit]

WINS has over 3360 members from more than 118 countries. WINS accepts applications for membership from organisations and individuals that have accountabilities for nuclear security and who wish to contribute to the goals of WINS in sharing and promoting the implementation of best security practices.

Membership is free of charge. Applications for membership is found on their website.

WINS Brand[edit]

The WINS brand, a “security box”, is a symbol that is based on the idea that information about security should not be boxed away, and should be available to those that need to see and understand it. In other words, the emphasis should be on a ‘need to share’ rather than a ‘need to know’ among those involved in nuclear security.

This does not refer to classified information about security but to best practices associated with managing security and the essential need for communications between operators, police and regulators, depending on the national model for security. WINS believes that shareable information should be taken out of the ‘box’ to make security more effective and better integrated into mainstream corporate and organisational thinking. It should be possible to define performance metrics to measure how well the security regime is working and where improvements are necessary. WINS believes that senior management- Executive Directors and Boards – should have full accountability, not just the Security Department and Security Regulator.

WINS brand design also consists of a network design. It symbolises the role of WINS to help organisations and individuals come together – to make connections – to share best practices and learn from one another. It is about making global connections between governmental bodies, organisations and institutions that have specialist knowledge and experience in areas such as guard force and police training, security research and technology, non-nuclear security best practices, security management, professional development and so forth.

Through WINS, the professionals responsible for security of nuclear materials can share their knowledge about security with their peers worldwide. These security professionals are in the best position to know where the vulnerabilities are, how to improve security, and how to ensure improvements are implemented quickly and effectively. The hope is that every institution responsible for the security of nuclear and radioactive material will join and participate in WINS.


International/Regional/National Best Practice Workshops are held worldwide and aim to bring together subject matter experts and accountable persons to identify and share best practices on certain topics related to nuclear security. Workshop structures vary depending on the subject – from table-top and force-on-force exercises and roundtables to interactive theatre sessions – and are professionally facilitated.

Peer Reviews are conducted upon request of an organisation, government or institution.

WINS Academy addresses the need for practitioners with accountabilities for nuclear security to have professional development opportunities available to help them understand the systemic balance between technical performance, human performance and the management of a complex security programme.

Best Practice Guides (BPGs) are practical, hands-on information on topics dealing with Nuclear Security Management. Each guide includes self-assessment questions for readers to benchmark the success of their organisation in particular areas of security management. BPGs are published in ten different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Special Publications are produced in a timely manner to address current affairs and trends. A few examples include special reports on the Fukushima Dai’ichi Incident; market incentives for implementing nuclear security at nuclear facilities; and assessing the gap in the current professional development opportunities for nuclear security professionals.


The WINS website is divided into two areas – the public side where information about the organisation and its activities are communicated, and the Member’s Area which is a dedicated secure network for members-only and provides free access to all publications, documents and relevant information for both completed and upcoming workshops.


Legal Formation[edit]

WINS was legally formed as an Austrian Association in October 2008. Mr Michael Häupl, Mayor of Vienna, bid WINS welcome: "We are very pleased to welcome the World Institute for Nuclear Security to Vienna. WINS has a serious and extremely important international mission and we are proud to offer it a solid and reliable business environment as a working base." [2]

On 14 September 2010, WINS officially became an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) under Austrian Law BGBI. Nr.174/1992, recognised by the Austrian Federal Minister for the European and International Affairs.


WINS was formally launched on 29 September 2008 at the IAEA General Conference and announced by Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Accompanying him were U.S Secretary of Energy Mr. Samuel Bodman; Former Director General Dr Mohammed ElBaradei of the IAEA; Ambassador Bengt Johansen of Norway; Mr. Charles B. Curtis, Former President of NTI; Ms. Nancy Jo Nicholas, Former President of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management; and Ms. Anita Nilsson, Former Director of the IAEA Office of Nuclear Security, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security.

A WINS Coordinating Committee, composed of Ms. Corey Hinderstein (NTI), Mr. Jim Tape and Ms. Joyce Connery (US Department of Energy), was active between 2006-8 to help bring WINS into existence.[3]

In launching WINS, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman of NTI, announced that NTI was providing a $3 million foundation grant to the new organisation with financial support from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman announced that the Department of Energy would match NTI’s grant with an additional $3 million of support. Ambassador Bengt Johansen of Norway announced his country’s support for WINS and an initial $100,000 contribution to support the participation of security professionals from developing states in WINS activities. Additionally, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has pledged $500,000 (CAD) in support of WINS.[4]

During its launching ceremony, the following statements of endorsement were made.

“I believe that we must be committed to the vision of a world in which all nuclear materials are safe, secure and accounted for from cradle to grave. The ultimate goal of WINS is for every institution responsible for nuclear and radioactive material to join and participate in this organization – both to share what they know and to learn from others. Our message to everyone handling nuclear materials is that a terrorist nuclear attack anywhere in the world will cast a dark cloud over the entire nuclear community -- no matter where the material originated. WINS will help ensure that we can enjoy the benefits of nuclear energy while defending against its dangers."- Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (29 Sept. 2008)

"Each nation has the responsibility to assist in the effort to make nuclear materials and facilities secure. This means we need cooperation at every level and every stage of the process: from government, to industry, to non-governmental organizations. The World Institute for Nuclear Security will make an important contribution to the cause of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security."- Samuel Bodman, Former U.S. Secretary of Energy (29 Sept. 2008)

“I am pleased to provide my support and endorsement for the establishment of the World Institute for Nuclear Security to be based in Vienna. As the full support of nuclear operators is key to effective nuclear security, I am confident that establishing a forum to help share and promote best practices amongst them will improve nuclear security, and contribute to and complement the efforts of the IAEA towards establishing and helping to implement a global nuclear security regime based on internationally accepted norms and guidelines.” - Mohamed ElBaradei, Former IAEA Director General and winner of 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (29 Sept. 2008)

“The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism’s Terms of Reference explicitly speaks of the need to share best practices to develop and improve accounting, control and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials. With the launch of WINS, we hope to provide an institutional means for doing that important work.” - Charles Curtis, NTI President (29 Sept. 2008)


The first three years were considered the foundational phase of WINS. In 2009, the office was established on the Graben in the heart of Vienna, Austria. WINS recruited its staff members, held 2 international workshops and published the first of their Best Practice Guides. 250 individual and organisations representing 46 countries as operators, police and guarding organisations, regulators, policy makers and security specialists joined WINS as members. In 2010, WINS held 9 workshops, published 12 BPGs, and attracted 500+ members from over 50 countries. In 2011, WINS held 15 workshops, published 15 guides, and had their membership reach 900 members from 62 countries. By the end of 2012, WINS had published 29 BPGs, organised 41 workshops and reached the 1300 mark for members who are from 70 countries.

In the following years, WINS has been recognised for its innovative and effective methods to promote security leadership. WINS has been bold in addressing the gaps in nuclear security and advocating for solutions to ensure that all people with accountabilities for nuclear security are competent and professionally certified.

Change in communicating nuclear security information after the 9/11[edit]

There has been a transformation in the approach to information exchange after the 9/11. The traditionalist "need to know" approach was more careful about spreading security information. It was believed that the risks of inadvertent disclosure of information outweighed the benefits of wider sharing. However, such assumption was proven to be a mistake after the 9/11, where it edified intellects and public that it is essential for the right people to have the right information at the right time in order to prevent themselves from tragic impacts on the environment, society and economy. So, adopting a "need to share" approach achieves a much better balance between the risk of unintended disclosure and the risk of failing to share information that could help to circumvent a threat or such event. So the organization now relies on fluent and clear communications about effective nuclear security within the organization and between organizations and any other public body.

Vision for the Future: the WINS Academy[edit]

In 2012, WINS launched the WINS Academy in front of over 50 heads of governments and international delegates at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. The WINS Academy is WINS’ recent and latest effort to enhance nuclear security by addressing the gap in nuclear security leadership. It aims to make certification of nuclear security professionals a common and mandatory aspect in the nuclear security field. The WINS Academy has been officially launched coincident with the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

The initiative has garnered much support from different Centres of Excellences around the world; however there is yet to be a conclusive partnership with regional leaders. WINS is expected to push forward the Academy and its mission for the next 5 years.

WINS Academy

The WINS Academy provides personnel with management accountabilities for nuclear security with opportunities to become professionally certified. By offering the first online certification programme in the world for nuclear security management, it aims to catalyse professional development, knowledge exchange and leadership innovation in nuclear security management.

ISO 29990:2010 Certified Organisation[edit]

In December 2014, WINS achieved ISO29990:2010 certification.[5] The purpose of the certification is to improve and standardise the quality of education and training in non-university settings including corporate training, vocational schools and lifelong learning programmes. This award recognises WINS’ efforts to create a high quality professional development training and certification programme in the field of nuclear security.

ISO 9001:2015 Certified Organisation[edit]

In December 2012, WINS achieved ISO 9001 Certification.[6] According to a WINS press release Dr. Roger Howsley, WINS’ Executive Director, “WINS exists to share best practices for nuclear security management and therefore has to set its own high standards for operations and services. The ISO award is testimony to our professional attitude and focus on service.” Later on, in December 2015, and following a certification audit led by Quality Austria, WINS joined the first organisations to be certified to the new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System standards.

ISO:9001 is designed to help organisations ensure that their quality management system (QMS) and processes meet the needs of their customers and other stakeholders. Certification, which must be renewed at regular intervals, means that an independent registrar has audited an organisation’s QMS and certified that it meets ISO 9001 requirements. ISO 9001:2015, the newest edition of ISO's flagship quality management system standards, was published in October 2015 after experts from 95 participating and observing countries had spent more than three years working to revise the standards and bring them up to date with modern needs.

Executive Director[edit]

Dr. Roger Howsley is the Executive Director of WINS (September 2008 – present). Dr. Howsley was the former Director of Security, Safeguards and International Affairs (SSIA) for British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. and has over 25 years international experience relating to nuclear non proliferation and security across the nuclear fuel cycle, working with the IAEA, Euratom, National Police Forces and security organisations.

He was Chairman of the UK's Atomic Energy Police Authority on a biennial basis between 1996 and 2005 and managed its transition to become the Civil Nuclear Constabulary in 2005, an armed police force responsible for the protection of the UK's civil nuclear sites. He led BNFL's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, assessing and leading the programme of security enhancements at BNFL sites and interacting with Government at all levels, including an 18-month investigation into nuclear security by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology.

He was appointed to serve on the IAEA Director-General's Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation (SAGSI). Dr. Howsley holds a first class honours degree and doctorate in Life Sciences from the University of Liverpool in England.

International Support and Collaboration[edit]

International Support[edit]

WINS has supported the Nuclear Security Summits held in Washington D.C. in 2010, Seoul in 2012, The Hague in 2014, and in Washington D.C. in 2016. A collaborative programme with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), whose mission is to promote nuclear safety, was announced in February 2012 [7] to promote best practices in integrating nuclear safety and security.

WINS promotes the IAEA’s work on nuclear security and ensures that their best practices are aligned with their international guidance and recommendations.

At the March 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, 12 countries signed a Gift Basket on "Certified Training" in which they commit to support the WINS Academy in its efforts to expand its international certification programme and undertake to promote cooperative efforts between the WINS Academy and the IAEA. By signing this Gift Basket, Canada, Finland, Hungary, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States expressed their support of the commitments in INFCIRC/869, and acknowledged the international recognition of the need for nuclear security training, education, certification and/or qualification activities.

Financial Support[edit]

WINS received financial pledges, support and donation from governments, foundations and corporations, including: • Bruce Power • Cameco Corporation • Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade • Carnegie Corporation of New York • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs • GE Foundation • Japan Atomic Energy Agency • Johns Hopkins University • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory • Los Alamos National Laboratory • MacArthur Foundation • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade • Norwegian Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs • Nuclear Threat Initiative • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory • UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office • UK Department of Energy and Climate Change • URENCO • US Department of Defense • US Department of Energy • US Partnership for Nuclear Security

In addition, various in-kind support which predominantly are by WINS members who contribute their time, knowledge and expertise to developing and sharing best practices for the wider nuclear security community is estimated to be an equivalent to over €3Million in direct funding.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nuclear Security: Who wins, Nukes
  2. ^ WINS Annual Report 2009, p8
  3. ^ Executive Director's Report, WINS Annual Report 2009, p4
  4. ^ Financial Support, WINS Annual Report 2009; p22
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ WINS Annual Report 2013; page 9

External links[edit]