WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the signing of a government-to-government agreement with the People’s Republic of China to establish a Center of Excellence in China to promote effective nuclear security and safeguards. U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) Chairman Chen Qiufa signed the memorandum of understanding, which was announced during the state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington.
This agreement paves the way for DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense to work with CAEA representatives in China to develop a center that will provide a central site for training in all aspects of nuclear security. The Center will serve as a forum for exchanging technical information, sharing best practices, developing training courses, and promoting technical collaborations that will enhance nuclear security in China and throughout Asia. It will also help meet the training needs for China’s expanding nuclear sector and promote nuclear security best practices throughout the region.
“This agreement reflects the commitment of the two governments to strengthen their cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear security, and in combating nuclear terrorism and represents a major step forward in implementing the global nuclear security outlined by our two Presidents at the Nuclear Security Summit last April,” said Secretary Chu. “We look forward to working with our partners in China to build this Center of Excellence, which will allow us to work together to improve nuclear security in China and throughout the region.”
During the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010, Chinese President Hu agreed to establish a “Center of Excellence” on nuclear security. The agreement announced today lays the foundation for establishing the center, which will enable the training of nuclear site personnel on measurements and accounting of nuclear material and on the design and installation of nuclear material security systems. It will also have the capability to train protective force personnel using scenario-driven response exercises and give hands-on training on international nuclear safeguards requirements and inspection techniques.
In addition to providing equipment to enhance nuclear security training, NNSA will work through its Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program to assist in developing training programs and facilitating the exchanges of best practices.
NNSA’s Material Protection, Control and Accounting Program works collaboratively with key partner countries to improve the security of nuclear weapons and materials at their source through material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) upgrades at nuclear sites; exchange nuclear security best practices; and establish systematic nuclear security training programs and facilities.
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.