Will Help Thwart Attempts to Smuggle Material for Nuclear Weapons and "Dirty Bombs"~November 22, 2005
U.S. and the People's Republic of China Cooperate on Detecting Illicit Shipments of Nuclear MaterialWill Help Thwart Attempts to Smuggle Material for Nuclear Weapons and "Dirty Bombs"
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States and People's Republic of China signed an agreement over the weekend to help thwart smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. Under this agreement the U.S. and China will work together in the war on terrorism by installing special equipment at ports in China to detect hidden shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material.
The effort is part of the Megaports Initiative, a nonproliferation program of the U.S. 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.
"The United States and the People's Republic of China recognize the importance of joining forces against the threat posed by the trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. This agreement represents a significant step forward in the effort to improve the security of the global maritime shipping network, and furthers both nations' efforts to work cooperatively in hindering terrorism," said NNSA Administrator Linton F. Brooks.
The U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission David Sedney joined Deputy Director General Hao Chongfu from China's Department of Customs Control and Inspection, and Deputy Director General Fan Guozhen from China's Health Department of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in signing the accord.
This is the twelfth cooperative agreement and joins efforts currently underway in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Belgium, and Spain. Other nations from Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East and the Caribbean are also in active discussions with the United States to add the NNSA monitoring systems in key port facilities worldwide to further international nonproliferation efforts and provide useful evidence to support prosecution efforts.
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 energy. 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 U.S. and abroad.
Bryan Wilkes, NNSA (202) 586-7371