BRUSSELS – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) have concluded the second Joint Steering Committee meeting under a 2010 Agreement in the field of nuclear material safeguards and security research and development (R&D). The Agreement provides a framework for technical cooperation in nuclear safeguards, border monitoring, nuclear forensics, export controls, and physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities. The meeting served as an opportunity to reinforce commitments to expand technical cooperation in these areas and advance mutual nuclear security and nonproliferation objectives.
NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and Director General of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) Dominique Ristori commenced four new collaborative projects. These included certified reference material development, reference material production, spent fuel assay verification, and nuclear forensics. NNSA and Euratom discussed mechanisms for prioritization of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security activities; outlined ideas for strengthening export control implementation and evaluating radiation detection equipment; and advanced coordination for support provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“In a fiscally constrained environment, it is important to consider innovative ways to leverage resources, capabilities and knowledge by engaging partner countries in our mission to strengthen nuclear security and nonproliferation efforts,” said Deputy Administrator Harrington. “International collaboration on global nuclear security priorities provides the opportunity to maximize our impact.”
The 2010 Agreement calls for closer collaboration on nuclear security and nonproliferation R&D, as well as for enhanced coordination of outreach to third countries. Since the first Joint Steering Committee meeting in July 2011, NNSA and Euratom have achieved numerous accomplishments through technical collaboration and have significantly expanded joint outreach activities.
“Our productive, long-standing partnership with the United States is a top priority,” said Director General Ristori. “Its impact is not only far-reaching, but also essential to promoting the highest possible standards in nuclear security and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”
The United States and Euratom have a long and productive history of cooperation on nuclear security and nonproliferation that dates back more than 30 years. Euratom was created in 1957 to establish the conditions for the development of nuclear energy in Europe by sharing resources, protecting the general public, and associating other countries and international organizations with this work.
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.