NNSA Completes Fourth International Meeting on Next Generation Nuclear Safeguards

Press Release
Jul 12, 2012

HANOI, VIETNAM – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), together with the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, announced today the successful completion of the Fourth International Meeting on Next Generation Safeguards.

Organized by NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI), the meeting brought together more than 80 experts from 27 countries, two regional inspectorates, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss practical steps related to the implementation of international safeguards. International safeguards, a key component of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are a set of technical measures administered by the IAEA that provide credible assurance to the international community that nuclear material is not being diverted from peaceful purposes. In 2008, NNSA launched NGSI to develop the safeguards policies, concepts and approaches, technologies, expertise and infrastructure necessary to strengthen and sustain the international safeguards system as it evolves to meet new challenges over the coming decades.

“The wide participation and commitment demonstrated by the international community to the importance of a strong international safeguards system demonstrates a shared interest in upholding the NPT and global nuclear security,” said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “NNSA will continue to explore new opportunities and partnerships in this area, which is central to the success of the international nonproliferation regime as well as implementing the President’s nuclear security agenda.”

This meeting provided a unique opportunity to promote a common understanding among international stakeholders of the challenges, opportunities, and best practices for establishing and maintaining effective Safeguards Regulatory Authorities, which are the national entities responsible for collecting and reporting information about a country’s nuclear program to the IAEA. Previous annual meetings focused on such topics as advancing and institutionalizing Safeguards by Design so that international safeguards measures are more fully integrated into new nuclear facilities, along with safety and security measures from the outset of the design process.

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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.