U.S., Europe Expand Nuclear Security Cooperation

Press Release
Nov 2, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has signed a new agreement with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) to promote greater cooperation in nuclear security and nonproliferation. NNSA Assistant Deputy Administrator for Nonproliferation and International Security, Mark Whitney, and Dr. Roland Schenkel, Director General of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), signed the agreement at a nuclear safeguards symposium at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

The agreement provides a framework for greater technical cooperation between the United States and Europe in areas such as nuclear safeguards, border monitoring, nuclear forensics, export controls, and physical protection of nuclear materials facilities. It also calls for closer collaboration on research and development of nuclear security and nonproliferation technologies, and for enhanced coordination of outreach to third countries.

“Technical cooperation between the United States and Europe in nuclear security and nonproliferation reflects our shared commitment to preventing the proliferation of nuclear materials and technologies,” said Mark Whitney. “This agreement is an important step in achieving President Obama’s goal of securing vulnerable nuclear material, preventing nuclear smuggling, and strengthening the international nuclear nonproliferation regime.”

The United States and Euratom have a long and productive history of cooperation on nuclear security and nonproliferation that dates back more than 30 years. The cooperative work under this agreement will be managed by NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI). NGSI is a robust, multi-year program to develop the policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, and international infrastructure necessary to strengthen and sustain the international safeguards system.

Euratom was created in 1957 to establish the conditions for the development of nuclear energy in Europe by sharing resources, protecting the general public, and associating other countries and international organizations with this work.

Additional information on NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative is available here.

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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.