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NNSA, Russia Cooperate to Enhance Nuclear Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) officials this week led the U.S. delegation to the 17th meeting of the Joint Coordinating Group (JCG).  Organized by NNSA’s Material Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) program, the JCG meets twice a year to review the progress of cooperative efforts on nuclear material security between the United States and the Russian Federation.  

This year’s three-day meeting was held in Lisbon, Portugal, and included NNSA officials, representatives from the national laboratories and the U.S. Department of Defense , officials from the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense (MOD), and representatives from all the nuclear weapons related services of the Russian Federation. It featured discussions on how to ensure the long-term success of more than two decades of cooperation to improve nuclear security.

“The United States and Russia remain committed partners in improving nuclear security and preventing the proliferation of nuclear material around the world,” said Anne Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. “These meetings provide us with an opportunity to work collaboratively to improve nuclear security and share best practices. The Joint Coordinating Group highlights our continued commitment to implementing the nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama and President Medvedev.”

During the Nuclear Security Summit in April, the United States and Russia highlighted the importance of exchanging nuclear security best practices.  The Summit’s Action Plan included commitments from each state to promote the strengthening of global nuclear security through dialogue and cooperation with all states.  Since the summit, the U.S. and Russia have jointly developed a plan to sustain upgraded physical protection systems at MOD sites in the Russian Federation.

In addition to reviewing on-going projects, meeting participants highlighted future areas of cooperation, including developing a forum for sharing best practices, extending the life cycle of physical protection systems, and the development of a network of regional technical training centers in Russia.  

NNSA’s MPC&A program works in Russia and other countries to secure and eliminate weapons-usable material.  By securing materials at their source, the NNSA strengthens the first line of defense against nuclear theft and terrorism.  

For more information on the MPC&A program, click here.

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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 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.