NNSA Helps North Africa Prepare for Nuclear Power

Press Release
Jan 17, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - - A four day workshop designed to educate participants on the nuclear safeguards, safety, and security challenges associated with the development of a civil nuclear power program wrapped up today at the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The event, sponsored by NNSA, was held for countries from the Middle East and North Africa interested in pursuing civilian nuclear energy.

"An increasing number of countries are considering nuclear energy to meet fast-growing energy requirements," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey. "The United States is committed to working with these countries to ensure that from the start, nuclear energy programs are safe, secure, and consistent with nonproliferation best practices and international commitments."

Attendees to the seminar included officials from nuclear regulatory, research, and energy agencies from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. Representatives from U.S. government agencies and the Department of Energy's national laboratories also participated.

Discussion at the workshop, held from January 14-17, focused on the steps necessary to ensure the safe, secure, and sustainable implementation of civilian nuclear energy programs. Some of the issues covered included legal and regulatory frameworks, nuclear safeguards and security, nuclear safety and emergency response, and energy planning. Participants also had the opportunity to simulate the decision-making process involved in the introduction of nuclear power and evaluate the results of their decisions.

NNSA's Office of Nonproliferation and International Security provides technical infrastructure-related assistance through non-binding bilateral arrangements to states developing nuclear energy programs pursuant to Article IV of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), as well as goals outlined by the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP).

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371