WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S., Russian and U.K. officials today concluded a two-day nuclear security best practices workshop in Paris designed to exchange expertise on steps taken to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The workshop is part of a series held between the United States and Russia pursuant to the goals of the Joint Statement on Nuclear Security by President Obama and President Medvedev in July 2009.
"This workshop is an example of the high level of cooperation between our nations as we work together to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to keep these weapons out of the hands of terrorists," said Brad Peterson, NNSA's Chief of Defense Nuclear Security. "President Obama has repeatedly stressed the danger of a nuclear weapon falling into the wrong hands, so we are reconfirming our commitment to working together to prevent this nightmare scenario from becoming reality."
At a summit in Moscow earlier this year, President Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev issued a joint statement outlining expanding cooperation on nuclear security issues. In addition to accelerating efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world, the joint statement included a commitment to strengthen their cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and stop acts of nuclear terrorism. This workshop addressed many of the steps taken to mitigate those threats.
Representatives from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), U.K. Ministry of Defence, and Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" exchanged best practices in mitigating the insider threat, vulnerability analysis tools, performance testing, and physical protection. The meeting also included a presentation by Dr. Roger Howsley, Executive Director of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), on the recently established organization's nuclear nonproliferation plans and activities.
Past workshops have focused on topics such as sustainability, risk management, and personnel reliability programs.
This was the second workshop between the three nations on nuclear security best practices. Traditionally, the meetings have brought together senior experts from the NNSA's Office of Defense Nuclear Security with their Russian counterparts. In December 2008, representatives from the U.K. participated for the first time.
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. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.
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