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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Criminal Act

A general term encompassing malicious acts and any other intentional acts or omissions contrary to national law or regulations and having nuclear security implications. i A 'criminal act' is normally covered by criminal or penal law in a State, whereas an 'unauthorized act' is typically the subject of administrative or civil law. In addition, criminal acts involving nuclear or other radioactive material may constitute offences related to acts of terrorism[, including those set out in the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, all of] which, in some States, are subject to special legislation. Unauthorized acts with nuclear security implications could include both intentional and unintentional unauthorized acts as determined by the State. Examples of a criminal act or an unauthorized act with nuclear security implications could, if determined by the State, include: (1) the undertaking of an unauthorized activity involving radioactive material by an authorized person; (2) the unauthorized possession of radioactive material by a person with the intent to commit a criminal or unauthorized act with such material, or to facilitate the commission of such acts; or (3) the failure of an authorized person to maintain adequate control of radioactive material, thereby making it accessible to persons intending to commit a criminal or an unauthorized act, using such material ( IAEA Glossary 2014).