The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) this week commemorated 25 years of nonproliferation cooperation at the 25th Permanent Coordinating Group Meeting in Tokai, Japan. This cooperation represents one of NNSA’s longest-standing international partnerships and has yielded more than 100 successful nonproliferation and nuclear security projects to date.
“I am delighted that our partnership continues to grow and to adapt to new and emerging challenges, and that we — as steadfast allies and partners — continue to work together to address the most complex and urgent nonproliferation challenges,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “As we look to the future of nuclear security, our work always has been and will continue to be a central component of the ongoing global mission to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction and to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technology.”
The Department of Energy began official cooperation on joint projects with JAEA’s predecessor organizations in 1988. Since that time, NNSA and JAEA have collaborated to pioneer technologies and methodologies to resolve some of the most difficult safeguards challenges at aqueous reprocessing plants and other complex nuclear fuel cycle facilities. In particular, NNSA and JAEA joint development of unattended and remote monitoring safeguards systems has helped reduce the inspection burden on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its member states and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the international safeguards system overall.
In recent years, NNSA and JAEA have expanded cooperation significantly on nuclear security and nuclear forensics, supporting the international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material worldwide and helping to achieve tangible deliverables through the Nuclear Security Summit process. NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security has worked with JAEA since 2011 to develop and host physical protection workshops and training at JAEA’s Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) — a new, state-of-the-art training center of excellence dedicated to nuclear security-focused human resource development and capacity building. NNSA and ISCN will continue to build and demonstrate joint leadership in strengthening nuclear security through training efforts in Japan, throughout Asia and beyond.