NNSA Signs Memorandum with Kuwait to Increase Cooperation on Nuclear Safeguards and Nonproliferation

Press Release
Jun 23, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on nuclear safeguards and other nonproliferation topics with the Kuwait National Nuclear Energy Committee (KNNEC). NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino and KNNEC’s Secretary General, Dr. Ahmad Bishara, signed the memorandum at a ceremony at U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

“This agreement is an important step toward advancing strong bilateral cooperation between the United States and Kuwait on nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards and security,” said Administrator D'Agostino. “As more countries seek to include nuclear power in their energy plans, the need to understand, develop and implement proper nuclear safeguards will become an even more important part of strengthening nuclear nonproliferation efforts around the world. We thank Secretary General Bishara and his colleagues at KNNEC for the hard work and productive dialogue that brought us to this point, and we look forward to collaborating with Kuwait on these topics soon.”

This Memorandum of Cooperation is part of NNSA’s International Nuclear Safeguards and Engagement Program (INSEP). A key component of NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI), INSEP strengthens international nuclear safeguards by improving nuclear material accountancy and control and promoting secure and sustainable nuclear infrastructure through collaboration with international partners.

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.

The memorandum with Kuwait specifically proposes cooperation in nuclear legislation and regulations; human resource planning and modeling; nuclear safeguards and security; radiation protection; environmental, safety and health issues; low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste management; and reactor operations, safety, and best practices.

Photos and video from today’s ceremony are available on NNSA's Flickr  and YouTube  accounts. Additional information on NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative is available here.

KNNEC was formed in 2009 by an Amiri Decree to explore Kuwait’s options in the deployment of peaceful nuclear energy for electricity generation and water desalinization to meet the country’s rising demands.

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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.