NNSA Administrator D'Agostino Applauds Report, Endorses Creation of a UK Center for Nuclear Excellence
WASHINGTON, DC – Thomas P. D'Agostino, the Department of Energy's Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, today applauded the British government's new report on advancing the global nuclear security agenda. Issued yesterday, "The Road to 2010 – Addressing the Nuclear Question in the Twenty First Century" outlines a strategy for addressing the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons ahead of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.
Among other steps, it includes the creation of a UK Center for Nuclear Excellence that will work to secure existing stocks of nuclear material, develop proliferation-resistant civilian nuclear reactor fuels, and improve access to the peaceful use of nuclear energy for countries that play by the rules.
"The ‘Road to 2010' report is an important contribution to the nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama and President Medvedev in Moscow and endorsed by the G-8 summit last week in L'Aquila," said D'Agostino. "With nuclear energy playing an increasing role in meeting growing energy demands, it is more important than ever for the international community to act together to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. The steps outlined in this report, including the creation of a UK Center for Nuclear Excellence, will be an important vehicle for securing existing stocks of nuclear material, developing proliferation-resistant civilian nuclear reactor fuels and eventually pursuing more effective verification measures for arms control and nonproliferation agreements. As President Obama said, the threat of a terrorist acquiring a nuclear weapon is the single greatest threat facing our nation. The steps outlined in the ‘Road to 2010' report will help prevent that nightmarish scenario from becoming a reality."
Last week in Moscow, President Obama and President Medvedev signed a Joint Statement on Nuclear Cooperation that outlined critical steps for securing nuclear material worldwide, minimizing the use of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in civilian applications, accelerating efforts to repatriate HEU fuel to its country of origin, further improving physical protection systems at nuclear facilities, and strengthening the effectiveness of the international safeguards system.
With the largest nuclear nonproliferation program in the world, the Department of Energy's NNSA plays an important role in implementing that agenda. Through its Second Line of Defense program, NNSA combats illicit trafficking of nuclear materials and radioactive substances by installing radiation detectors at ports, border crossings and points of entry around the world. NNSA'S Global Threat Reduction Initiative works with its international partners to convert HEU reactors to more proliferation resistant LEU reactors and repatriate HEU and LEU to its country of origin.
To improve the security of nuclear weapons and materials at their source, NNSA's Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program provides material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) upgrades at nuclear sites in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
To help strengthen the international safeguards regime, NNSA's Next Generation Safeguards Initiative is working to develop the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, and infrastructure necessary to sustain the international safeguards system as its mission evolves over the next 25 years.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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 U.S. and abroad.
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