U.S., Kazakhstan Expand Nuclear Safeguards, Security Cooperation

Press Release
Nov 30, 2011

ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the signing of an implementing arrangement with the Government of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Industry and New Technology (MINT) to promote increased cooperation in nuclear safeguards and security. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of MINT Bakhytzhan Dzhaksaliyev signed the arrangement to expand bilateral cooperation in key nonproliferation areas.

The United States and Kazakhstan have a long and productive history of collaboration on nuclear safeguards and security dating back to 1993. The Implementing Arrangement will provide a framework for expanded technical cooperation in nuclear material safeguards and security, containment and surveillance of nuclear materials, nuclear safety and waste management, nuclear forensics, and information management. The arrangement will also provide the framework for enhanced coordination of training and outreach to other countries.

“The Implementing Arrangement is an important next step in our cooperation with Kazakhstan that advances our joint interest in ensuring the highest possible standards for nuclear material safeguards and security,” said Poneman. “It reflects our nations’ shared commitment to supporting the safe and secure use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We are grateful to Vice Minister Dzhaksaliyev and his colleagues at MINT for their ongoing collaboration with NNSA in working towards improved global nuclear security standards.”

NNSA will manage the cooperative work under the implementing arrangement through its Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI). NGSI is a robust, multi-year program with the mission to develop policies, concepts, technologies, expertise, and international infrastructure necessary to strengthen and sustain the international safeguards system.

A fact sheet on NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) is available online 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. 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.