WASHINGTON, D.C. – Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman today announced the signing of an agreement to extend nuclear security cooperation between the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of Russia (Rostechnadzor) for an additional seven years.
Speaking at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, Deputy Secretary Poneman announced the agreement, which will allow NNSA to continue work with Rostechnadzor to enhance its nuclear security regulations and inspection and training capabilities. The extension of this agreement, originally signed in 1995, is an important part of the strong bilateral partnership in implementing the nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“The United States and Russia remain committed partners in improving global nuclear security, combating weapons proliferation, and preventing dangerous nuclear equipment and materials from falling into the wrong hands," Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “This agreement, and NNSA’s ongoing work in Russia, are vital to reducing international nuclear threats and implementing President Obama's ambitious nuclear security agenda.”
As the Russian nuclear regulatory authority for the Russian Federation, Rostechnadzor is responsible for oversight of nuclear material protection, control and accounting (MPC&A) operations at Russian nuclear facilities. Since 1995 NNSA and Rostechnadzor have worked to strengthen Russia’s nuclear security regulations and to enhance Rostechnadzor’s MPC&A inspection and training capabilities.
“Rostechnadzor is committed to continuing our open partnership with DOE NNSA to improve worldwide nuclear security,” said Rostechnadzor Chairman Nikolay Kutin.
The agreement with Rostechnadzor comes as President Obama is seeking continued investments in strengthening nuclear security at home and abroad. Last month, he submitted to Congress the Administration’s FY 2012 budget request, which includes more than $60 million for NNSA’s nuclear security sustainability programs aimed at developing and maintaining an international MPC&A infrastructure.
The agreement with Rostechnadzor is implemented by NNSA’s Material Protection, Control & Accounting (MPC&A) Program, which strengthens the first line of defense against nuclear theft and terrorism by securing material at its source. NNSA’s MPC&A Program scope includes 37 Russian nuclear material sites, 73 Russian nuclear warhead sites and 13 non-Russian nuclear material sites. The MPC&A Program also includes efforts to consolidate and convert weapons-usable nuclear material stocks and to develop a sustainable MPC&A infrastructure in Russia.
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.