This week, NNSA is highlighting its nonproliferation programs that have supported efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world. In support of President Obama’s Four Year Effort, the Office of International Material Protection and Control (IMPC) works with partner countries to establish a first line of defense that secures warheads and weapons-usable nuclear materials at their source, and a second line of defense at strategic border crossing points, ports, and other locations to deter and detect the illicit transfer of nuclear materials. IMPC’s two complementary programs – Material Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) and Second Line of Defense (SLD)—work with partner countries to: significantly increase the security of vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear material (WUNM); reduce the quantity of WUNM by downblending non-weapons-origin HEU into LEU; consolidate nuclear materials into fewer, more defensible, and more sustainable secure locations; and improve the deterrence, detection, and interdiction of illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials.
As part of the Four Year Effort, the MPC&A Program is working collaboratively with our partners to complete security upgrades at nuclear facilities in Russia and the former Soviet Union, and is supporting the downblending of HEU to LEU so that the material can no longer be used for nuclear weapons. The MPC&A Program is also working with China to establish a Center of Excellence for nuclear security best practices training in China, and with India to incorporate nuclear security elements into India's Global Centre of Nuclear Energy Partnership. The SLD Program has deployed thousands of fixed radiation portal monitors at hundreds of sites and dozens of mobile detection units around the world.
IMPC also works to improve partner countries’ nuclear security infrastructure at the site and national level by improving countries’ regulations and procedures, inspections, training, maintenance capabilities, performance testing, life-cycle planning, and nuclear security culture. A recipient country’s capability to secure, reduce, and interdict nuclear materials must be sustained by that country over the long term.
Click here to read more about President Obama’s Four-Year Effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world.
IMPC began in 1994 as a task force to mitigate the security vulnerabilities of special nuclear material arising from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since that time, the program has evolved into a global effort, engaging over 50 countries to deny terrorists the vital materials needed to engage in acts of nuclear terror.