Nuclear Security Centers of Excellence: Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
Mar 23, 2012

“We [the Participating States]… Acknowledge the need for capacity building for nuclear security and cooperation at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels for the promotion of nuclear security culture through technology development, human resource development, education, and training; and stress the importance of optimizing international cooperation and coordination of assistance.”

Communiqué of the Washington Nuclear Security Summit

April 13, 2010

A Center of Excellence (COE) for nuclear security is a centralized location where a country or region can send professionals for training in various aspects of nuclear security.  These Centers advance the U.S. nuclear security agenda by highlighting the importance of strengthening nuclear security worldwide and working to address the need for capacity building, technology development, and coordination of assistance on nuclear security, as identified by Participating States at the Washington Nuclear Security Summit in 2010.  U.S. support for nuclear security COEs varies by region and country and focuses on meeting the training needs identified by the respective host country or organization.  Some of the U.S.-supported activities at COEs include:

  • Physical protection:
    • Sharing best practices to promote effective protection of  nuclear facilities and nuclear material—in use, storage, and transport—against theft and sabotage
  • Nuclear safeguards and nuclear material control and accounting:
    • Assisting in the development of regulations, procedures, and technologies required to properly account for nuclear materials
    • Building technical capacity to accurately and appropriately measure nuclear materials
  • Nuclear forensics:
    • Training, research and development, and joint analysis to identify nuclear material signatures and support the establishment of national nuclear forensics libraries
  • Nuclear detection technology:
    • Exchanging information on and supporting joint development of methods for detection of nuclear material and nuclear detonations
  • Nuclear emergency preparedness and response:
    • Training first responders and ensuring harmonized standard operating procedures
  • Export controls:
    • Ensuring front-line officers are adequately trained to prevent illicit trade of nuclear technologies

Given the growing number of COEs and other training centers, the IAEA is taking the lead in coordinating activities among various governments and organizations.  The United States fully supports and participates in these efforts.