WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States and the People's Republic of China recently signed a set of arrangements in Beijing that further defines ongoing cooperation to thwart the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. Under this cooperation, the U.S. and China will work together by installing special equipment at ports in China to detect hidden shipments of the material used in nuclear weapons and "dirty bombs." The arrangements add implementing details to a memorandum of understanding that was signed in November 2005.
The effort is part of the Megaports Initiative, a nonproliferation program of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that works with foreign partners to enhance their capabilities to detect, deter and interdict illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials through the international maritime shipping network.
Officials from NNSA and the U.S. Embassy joined officials from China's General Administration of Customs, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in exchanging the signed arrangements.
China is the largest single exporter of global cargo, and U.S. officials spoke of its growing importance in securing the global shipping network. "This agreement represents an important step forward in the effort to improve the security of the global maritime shipping network, and strengthens our efforts with the People's Republic of China in fighting nuclear smuggling," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.
The cooperation with NNSA is expected to begin under a pilot project that will be initiated over the next several months, and will continue the United States' cooperation with China on a broad range of nonproliferation efforts.
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.
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371