National Statement: United Kingdom

National Statement by the United Kingdom

Following our pledges at the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Nuclear Security Summits, the United Kingdom will continue to lead efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring sensitive nuclear or radiological material or knowledge.

The UK will:

  • undertake the largest single movement of Highly Enriched Uranium. The UK will transfer around 700kg of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to the United States. In return, the United States will provide HEU in a different form for use in European reactors to produce medical isotopes used in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions including thyroid cancer. This transfer will consolidate and achieve a net reduction in global HEU holdings, whilst providing real societal benefits.
  • lead efforts to further strengthen the cyber security of nuclear plants.  The Prime Minister is launching an initiative at the Summit to share best practice among states, nuclear operators and the supply chain to enhance their resilience and manage cyber risks to control systems in civil nuclear sites. During 2016 the UK will also be conducting a joint cyber security exercise with the US on the civil nuclear industry to test our systems against attack.
  • invest over £10 million during 2016 to improve standards worldwide.  Delivered through the UK Government’s Global Threat Reduction Programme, this will provide financial and expert assistance worldwide to protect facilities, strengthen security culture and dispose of sensitive material.  It will include:
    • £7.1m to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund to enable the IAEA to respond to requests for assistance. This is in addition to our annual contribution of around £14m to the IAEA regular budget and around £3m to the Technical Cooperation Fund.
    • 500,000 to the World Institute for Nuclear Security Academy to provide online nuclear security training to the nuclear industry worldwide.
    • £300,000 to Interpol’s Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit to counter nuclear smuggling.
    • £100,000 to host the IAEA's International Physical Protection Advisory Service Review Conference in London in November to bring together nuclear security experts to review 20 years’ experience from peer reviews.

The United Kingdom’s ongoing national commitment to nuclear security

The UK will continue to maintain the highest standards of security nationally.

Within our civilian nuclear power programme we have rigorous, independent and expert regulation. The UK nuclear regulation framework is world-class. It sets high standards for nuclear security, and operates in line with international obligations and best practice. There is a clear regulatory regime for security set by the Government which is overseen and enforced by an independent regulator with its own statutory powers. The UK strives for continuous improvement, and expects operators and others in the industry to learn from operational experience to take further steps to enhance security.

The UK also takes its responsibilities for protecting its military nuclear material very seriously. Our security arrangements are based on the principle of no unauthorised access, through the delivery of multi-layered, integrated, security arrangements designed to counter a range of threats and which are kept under review.  Robust national security controls are applied to personnel responsible for, or who have access to, nuclear military material and associated information. We have a well-established and on-going programme of activity to protect defence networks and the information they hold from cyber attack. And in addition to other security measures, we have strict accountancy and control measures for military nuclear material which are based on UK legislation and industry best practice.