US, New Zealand Expand Partnership to Reduce Global Nuclear Threats

Press Release
Jul 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that New Zealand will expand its cooperation with NNSA to reduce nuclear threats around the world. Under an agreement signed with NNSA's Office of Global Threat Reduction (GTRI), New Zealand will contribute $400,000 to support GTRI’s efforts in Uzbekistan to secure and remove vulnerable nuclear material.

While this agreement marks the first contribution from New Zealand to NNSA’s GTRI program, New Zealand has provided financial support to five other nuclear nonproliferation programs within NNSA. Previously, New Zealand supported NNSA’s efforts to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactor in Russia, as well as projects in Kazakhstan and Ukraine to combat nuclear smuggling. To date, New Zealand has provided more than $2,000,000 to support NNSA’s nonproliferation efforts around the world.

“We welcome New Zealand's generous and continued support," said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. "This contribution reinforces the cooperation between our countries to strengthen global security and prevent nuclear terrorism, while supporting President Obama’s pledge to lead a worldwide effort to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world.”

“New Zealand is pleased to cooperate with the United States on such a critical global issue,” said New Zealand’s Senior Negotiator for Disarmament and Sherpa to the Nuclear Security Summit process Dr. Joan Mosley. “Our support for the United States’ practical nuclear security initiatives underlines our deep commitment to the goal of securing vulnerable nuclear material, wherever it may be found.”

Financial and in-kind contributions from NNSA’s international partners reflect a shared commitment to efforts aimed at securing vulnerable nuclear material around the world, securing and disposing of dangerous nuclear and radiological material, and preventing nuclear smuggling. In addition to New Zealand, NNSA has received support from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the U.K. to pursue nonproliferation efforts around the world, including:

  • More than $31 million to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia.
  • Nearly $30 million to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian nuclear sites worldwide.
  • More than $11 million to strengthen NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program.

GTRI works to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites worldwide. GTRI achieves permanent threat reduction through converting research reactors and isotope production facilities from highly-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium; removing and disposing of excess nuclear and radiological material; and by protecting high priority nuclear and radiological material from theft and sabotage.  

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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. 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.