EU-US Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) Joint Statement

Recognizing twenty years of cooperation in promoting nuclear forensics as a tool and key component to strengthen nuclear material security, the United States of America and the European Union, co-chairs of the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG), have positioned ITWG to be an effective platform for nuclear forensic practitioners to raise awareness, build capacity, and identify and promote best practices.

Nuclear forensics advances Nuclear Security Summit goals by enhancing efforts to investigate and prosecute criminal or unlawful acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material.  Since the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in 2014, ITWG has pursued a number of activities.  These include conducting comparative nuclear material exercises that socialize nuclear forensic techniques and identify best practices.  In addition, ITWG conducted exercises that clarify the uses and utility of national nuclear forensic libraries in helping identify the origin of nuclear or other radioactive material found outside regulatory control.  Finally, ITWG has developed and propagated conceptual, technical, and analytic guidelines documents on a range of topics that include alpha and gamma spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and related techniques. 

On behalf of the ITWG Executive Committee, the European Union and the United States of America affirm that ITWG will continue to serve as the authoritative international technical forum for nuclear forensic practitioners to:

  • Foster and sustain investigative and prosecutorial efforts against illicit uses of nuclear and other radioactive material;
  • Conduct international exercises that identify and socialize best practices, explore new technical approaches to advance nuclear forensic capabilities, engaged practitioners in building an effective technical nuclear forensics community; and,
  • Continue providing technical expertise and products in collaboration with longstanding international partners that include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

Joint Announcement of INTERPOL and the United States of America on Cooperation to Combat the Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and Radiological Material

INTERPOL and the United States of America have confirmed a shared commitment to efforts to promote practical measures to counter nuclear and radiological smuggling.  INTERPOL’s Project Geiger Database and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Incident and Trafficking Database indicate that nuclear and radioactive materials continue to be encountered out of regulatory control. 

The United States applauds INTERPOL’s continued commitment to build awareness and capacity of law enforcement to combat smuggling in nuclear and radiological materials and are pleased to announce the results of the INTERPOL hosted “Global Counter Nuclear Smuggling Conference,” sponsored by the United States Department of Energy which was held in Lyon, France on January 27-29, 2016. 

In support of the commitments outlined in the Nuclear Security Summit Communiqués and Work Plan, the “Global Counter Nuclear Smuggling Conference focused on five subject areas key to INTERPOL’s role in combatting radiological and nuclear trafficking; information sharing, capacity building, support to investigations and operations, security of material, and prosecuting radiological and nuclear smugglers.  It additionally included a number of case studies to illustrate the reality of nuclear and radiological smuggling and a demonstration of radiation detection and identification equipment available to support investigations. 

This conference gave law enforcement professionals the opportunity to strengthen relationships with their international counterparts and to conduct counter nuclear smuggling operations and opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the nuclear smuggling challenge. 

Furthermore, the parties are pleased with the joint efforts to offer counter nuclear smuggling training programs in the form of regional workshops and cross-border exercises and remain committed to implementing these and other training activities. 

INTERPOL and the United States of America attach importance to the Nuclear Security Summit process and stress the importance of continuing efforts and ongoing collaboration to strengthen law enforcement capacity to prevent, detect, and interdict trafficking in nuclear and radiological materials.   Outcomes from the conference drawn from the input of participating countries will contribute to the Nuclear Security Summit Action Plan; which will be issued by world leaders and heads of international organizations at the 2016 Washington DC Nuclear Security Summit.  

Joint Announcement of the United States and Republic of Kazakhstan Cooperation in the Sphere of Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security

The United States and the Republic of Kazakhstan have confirmed a shared commitment to implementing practical measures to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime and enhance nuclear security.

The United States welcomes the Republic of Kazakhstan’s activities to strengthen nuclear security and implement decisions of the Washington, Seoul, and Hague Nuclear Security Summits.

Read More

Joint Statement of the United States of America and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the Scenario Based Policy Discussion Apex Gold

On January 28, 2016, the Department of Energy of the United States and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands jointly hosted Apex Gold, a Scenario-Based Policy Discussion (SBPD) on nuclear security, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, USA.

Apex Gold fostered international dialogue and cooperation through interactive discussion to resolve a fictional, transnational nuclear terrorism threat involving highly enriched uranium.  This event built upon the successful SBPD at the 2014 Hague Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). 

Delegations from 37 NSS countries and 4 observing International Organizations – the European Union, the International Atomic Energy Agency, INTERPOL, and the United Nations – participated in a robust discussion dealing with policy and technical issues related to threat assessment, nuclear materials security and detection, nuclear forensics, and emergency preparedness and response.

The fictional scenario featured an evolving crisis requiring urgent senior-level Government decision-making in order to address an international threat with implications for interagency and international coordination, leading to the following key takeaways:

1.      In a nuclear security emergency, leaders will need to prioritize prevention, protection, and prosecution, in that order.

2.      In a nuclear security emergency, the ability to swiftly and effectively cooperate with international partners to identify and respond to threats is essential; in addition to urgently needed national and international technical capabilities, relationships and trust are “capacities” that must also be developed in advance of a crisis through frequent engagement, including exercises such as Apex Gold.

3.      In a nuclear security emergency, leaders would face relentless demands for information from many stakeholders, including senior leadership, other government agencies, other nations, the media, and the public. Meeting this challenge requires advance planning and coordination. It is inevitable that the time for decisions by government leaders will outpace the availability of reliable information and analysis. In addition, decisions about how to inform the public about the threat may present significant challenges.

4.      Leaders must support and advance the international legal framework that serves as the foundation for nuclear security commitments, including ratification and entry-into-force of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials.

5.      Exercising regularly at national, regional, and international levels will generate cumulative improvements and foster the interagency and international coordination that would be essential to responding successfully in a nuclear security emergency.

The United States and the Netherlands would welcome future scenario-based policy discussions involving different levels of responsibility and across multiple communities that would be affected by a nuclear or radiological event.  International cooperation will continue to be essential to meeting the global nuclear security and proliferation challenge so long as weapons-useable fissile materials exist.  

Joint Statement on EU-US HEU Exchange

Joint Statement on the Exchange of Highly Enriched Uranium Needed for Supply of European Research Reactors and Isotope Production Facilities

Meeting in Washington, DC in the United States of America, on the margins of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit, the Department of Energy / National Nuclear Security Administration of the United States of America (DOE/NNSA) and the Euratom Supply Agency (ESA), supported by the European Commission, hereinafter "the Participants", in consultation with the Member States of the European Atomic Energy Community ("Euratom") concerned, reaffirm their endeavors to working together to minimize the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) for civilian purposes, where technically and economically feasible.

The Participants note that HEU currently remains important for a variety of peaceful scientific applications and for the production of critical medical isotopes, while at the same time HEU constitutes a significant security risk in the hands of unauthorized actors.  Hence, the Participants encourage conversion of European research reactors and isotope production industries to non-HEU-based fuel and targets, where technically and economically feasible.  At the same time they acknowledge that, in some facilities, HEU is still indispensable during the transition period to conduct peaceful scientific research or to produce medical radioisotopes used for radiopharmaceutical products.

In light of the 2012 Belgium-France-Netherlands-United States Joint Statement “Minimization of HEU and the Reliable Supply of Medical Radioisotopes,” the Participants, fully sharing the objective of the progressive overall minimization of the use of HEU in civil applications, acknowledged that a significant amount of excess and unirradiated HEU exists in Europe as a result of past activities.  Hence, they signed, in December 2014, a "Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration of the United States of America and the Euratom Supply Agency concerning the exchange of highly enriched uranium needed for supply of European research reactors and isotope production facilities" outlining the principles of an “exchange” going forward, in order to achieve a better overall balance of HEU quantities related to such civilian use in Europe.

The Participants, in cooperation with the Euratom Member States concerned, committed that, in exchange for HEU supplied from the United States to research reactors and isotope production facilities in Euratom Member States, Euratom Member States would transfer unirradiated, excess HEU to the United States for peaceful uses, including for downblending and fabrication into low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, or would recycle and down-blend excess HEU to LEU in Euratom Member State facilities.  Transfers would be conducted subject to applicable domestic laws of the respective participants.  The quantities of this excess material are to be overall greater than the total quantity of HEU that eligible facilities in Euratom Member States expect to receive from the United States in the future for civilian activities.

The Participants salute the progress achieved jointly by all the countries involved in this effort.  Indeed, sufficient quantities of excess HEU have been identified and proposed for the exchange to meet this goal.

The United Kingdom, France, and other European partners have taken important steps to identify excess HEU that they plan to ship to the United States over the next two years – one of the largest such efforts of its type.  This exchange is intended to help ensure that even after additional exports of HEU are sent from the United States to Europe for the production of medical isotopes and other societal benefits, net HEU reduction will be achieved. 

The Participants share a common view on the logistical and economic challenges that will still have to be met.  They trust that, in cooperation with the Euratom Member States concerned, this exchange, as an element of the HEU minimization policy, will advance the goal of global nuclear security.

Joint Statement on the Contributions of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) to Enhancing Nuclear Security

Since 2006, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) has grown into a partnership of 86 nations and 5 official observers committed to strengthening global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism.  The GICNT continues to make valuable contributions to nuclear security, and has held nearly 80 multilateral activities that have demonstrated the GICNT’s unique ability to bring together policy, technical, and operational experts to share models and best practices and enhance partners’ capabilities to address difficult and emerging nuclear security challenges.  We, the Co-Chairs of the GICNT (Russia and the United States), the past and present Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) Coordinators (Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the Netherlands), leaders of the three IAG Working Groups (Morocco, Finland and Australia), and the Special Advisor to the IAG Coordinator for planning the GICNT’s Tenth Anniversary Event in 2016 (United Kingdom), wish to inform the states in attendance at the 2016 U.S. Nuclear Security Summit, as well as states who are members of other international organizations and initiatives with nuclear security-related mandates, on progress made by the GICNT since the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by the Netherlands in The Hague in March 2014.

Over 200 representatives of GICNT partner nations and representatives from all five GICNT official observers – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) – participated in the ninth GICNT Plenary Meeting, hosted by Finland in Helsinki on June 16-17, 2015.  The Plenary selected the United States and Russia to continue as Co-Chairs of the GICNT for the term 2015-2019 and endorsed the Netherlands to serve a two year term as IAG Coordinator.  The Netherlands announced the continuation of Australia and Morocco as Nuclear Forensics and Response and Mitigation Working Group chairs, Finland as the next Nuclear Detection Working Group chair, and the United Kingdom as Special Advisor to the IAG Coordinator for planning the GICNT’s Tenth Anniversary Event in 2016.  Plenary participants also recognized the Republic of Korea for its leadership as IAG Coordinator. In this capacity, the Republic of Korea played a critical role in implementing the GICNT strategy announced at the 2013 Plenary Meeting in Mexico City, which called for an increase in practical, topically- and regionally-focused activities.

The Nuclear Security Summits in Washington (2010), Seoul (2012), and The Hague (2014) recognized the GICNT’s contributions to advancing global nuclear security. GICNT activities and the partners that supported them have produced many valuable outcomes that have complemented the Nuclear Security Summit process and positioned the GICNT to continue to play an important role in strengthening the global nuclear security architecture.

The Implementation and Assessment Group held three IAG Meetings that advanced the GICNT strategy by reviewing and approving Working Group documents, planning future activities, enabling event hosts to present key outcomes and lessons learned, and promoting a policy-level dialogue on key nuclear security issues.

At the annual IAG Meeting hosted by the Republic of Korea in July 2014, partners discussed the GICNT’s Statement of Principles and developed proposed topics and themes for incorporation into the GICNT’s strategic planning to build upon past work and address new or continuing nuclear security challenges. Partners’ feedback contributed significantly to the development of the GICNT strategy for 2015-2017, and identified potential new focus areas, such as addressing challenges related to sustainability of expertise and promoting the exchange of best practices on legal and regulatory frameworks, for further consideration.

Morocco hosted a Mid-Year IAG Meeting in February 2015, where each Working Group held simultaneous sessions to finalize guidance documents, plan future activities, and discuss working group plans for 2015-2017.  Partners also participated in the “Atlas Lion” tabletop exercise, which explored the interfaces across the three working groups from a higher-level policy perspective and identified the critical priorities that participants assessed their senior leaders would have in a real-world nuclear security incident.  Senior leaders at the 2015 Plenary Meeting later discussed key outcomes from “Atlas Lion,” underscoring the GICNT’s unique ability to serve as a platform for cross-disciplinary exchanges among groups of experts in different fields and highlighting the value of cooperation among these different groups.  

Finland hosted an IAG Meeting in June 2015 before the Plenary Meeting, where all five of the GICNT’s official observers briefed their programs of work and available assistance.  The outgoing IAG Coordinator from the Republic of Korea also made several important recommendations based on partners’ feedback from the July 2014 IAG Meeting that were endorsed by partners, including maintaining the GICNT’s three Working Groups; continuing cross-disciplinary work; developing thematic series of activities that increase in complexity to strategically build partnership capacity; and enhancing the utility of the Global Initiative Information Portal (GIIP).  These themes, as well as recommendations for the GICNT to organize additional activities that promote regional cooperation and develop activities that focus on key fundamentals of exercise design, implementation, and self-assessment, are key components of the GICNT’s strategy for 2015-2017.

The Nuclear Detection Working Group (NDWG) completed its Developing a Nuclear Detection Architecture series, which focuses on addressing challenges inherent to successful implementation and enhancement of national nuclear detection architectures.  The United States organized a workshop in April 2014 to complete the final technical review of Volume IV, Guidelines for Detection Within a State’s Interior, the final best practices guide in the series. Volume IV identifies challenges and mitigating strategies for building detection capabilities in the interior and provides options to mitigate those challenges by utilizing both technical and non-technical capabilities.  The 2015 Plenary Meeting endorsed Volume IV as an official GICNT product.

The NDWG also developed the “Exercise Playbook” – a collection of realistic scenarios that illustrates key nuclear detection challenges.  The “Exercise Playbook” is now available on the GIIP as a tool for helping partners to organize national-level exercises to promote practical implementation of nuclear detection best practices.  The “Exercise Playbook” will also be utilized for developing future NDWG activities and may be further refined and updated over time to meet partners’ evolving priorities and integrate other key nuclear security issues.
Finland hosted the nuclear detection workshop and tabletop exercise,  “Northern Lights,” in January 2015 to focus on the integration of traditional law enforcement techniques and radiation detection capabilities toward investigating illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials.  “Northern Lights” highlighted the importance of a coordinated, whole-of-government effort to detect and respond to illicit trafficking activities involving nuclear or other radioactive materials and promoted the practical implementation of best practices outlined in Guidelines for Detection Within a State’s Interior.

In May 2015, the European Commission hosted “Radiant City,” which featured a tabletop exercise and a series of hands-on demonstrations by the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, focusing on nuclear detection capabilities, radiological crime scene management, and traditional forensic and nuclear forensic laboratory analysis.  “Radiant City” built upon the successful outcomes of “Northern Lights” by bringing together the nuclear detection and nuclear forensics communities to identify strategies for how their respective expertise and capabilities could be leveraged in support of an ongoing law enforcement investigation into stolen nuclear or radioactive materials.

The Nuclear Forensics Working Group (NFWG) completed Exchanging Nuclear Forensics Information: Benefits, Challenges and Resources, a GICNT best practices document that aims to increase awareness of the benefits and challenges of exchanging nuclear forensics information associated with a nuclear security event and identifies potential mechanisms for enabling information exchange.  Lithuania hosted a nuclear forensics workshop in April 2014 to review this document, and it was subsequently endorsed at the June 2015 Plenary Meeting as an official GICNT product.  The GICNT is continuing efforts on the topic of exchanging information through the May 2016 event on International Communication and Assistance Requests in Sydney, Australia. The three-day workshop and exercise will be complemented by an IAG meeting hosted by Australia the same week.

In October 2014, Hungary hosted the workshop and tabletop exercise, “Csodaszarvas: Mystic Deer,” which engaged participants on nuclear forensics policy-level considerations and decisions related to national-level authorities, such as interagency coordination, roles and responsibilities, communication, and domestic information sharing during the investigation of a nuclear security incident.  The event showcased and promoted the practical application of core capabilities outlined in the GICNT document, Nuclear Forensics Fundamentals for Policy Makers and Decision Makers.

The Netherlands hosted the International Conference and Mock Trial on Nuclear Forensics, “Glowing Tulip,” in March 2015 to address the role of nuclear forensics experts in the investigation and prosecution of nuclear security events, the admissibility of nuclear forensics expert evidence into judicial proceedings, and the importance of pre-incident coordination and communication among scientific, law enforcement, and prosecutorial elements.

The Response and Mitigation Working Group (RMWG) completed Fundamentals for Establishing and Maintaining a Nuclear Security Response Framework: A GICNT Best Practice Guide, which provides a strategic-level reference and key considerations for the development of a national response framework for preparing to respond to and mitigate the impacts of a radiological or nuclear terrorism incident.  An RMWG workshop hosted by France in April 2014 played a key role in reviewing the document, which was endorsed as an official GICNT product at the 2015 Plenary Meeting.

Argentina and Chile co-hosted the Radiological Emergency Management Exercise, “Paihuen,” in August 2014, which demonstrated national-level plans and capabilities for responding to radiological security incidents and coordinating bilaterally to address shared threats.  In addition, the exercise promoted interagency communication and coordination of best practices and demonstrated key policies and procedures for sharing information among agencies and with regional and international partners, appropriate international organizations, and the public.  

In April 2015, the Philippines hosted the Public Messaging for Emergency Management Workshop, “Sugong Bagani: Envoy Warrior,” which identified and promoted mechanisms for improving capabilities to develop and disseminate public messaging during nuclear security events, particularly concerning the need to ensure messaging consistency, effectively convey technical information, issue life-saving directions, and manage and assess public risk perception.

In November 2015, the United Kingdom hosted the Workshop and Exercise, “Blue Raven,” to uplift models for national coordination of response and crisis management resources following a nuclear security event.  This workshop focused on good practices for supporting senior leadership decision-making, ensuring common operational information, and effective coordination between local responders and national authorities.  Blue Raven was the first workshop in a series focusing on national response frameworks, and will be followed by workshops addressing international considerations and other key aspects for developing sustainable national response frameworks.

In February 2016, the United Arab Emirates hosted the Nuclear Detection and Response Exercise “Falcon.”  This 3-day workshop and tabletop exercise focused on key aspects of nuclear detection and response intended to promote and enhance interagency national coordination, regional cooperation, and information sharing.  Building on the recommendations made at the 2015 Plenary Meeting, this exercise promoted key fundamentals of exercise design, implementation, and self-assessment, and identified and promoted a regional approach to addressing key nuclear security challenges.  

Looking forward, the GICNT leadership remains committed to working with GICNT partner nations to develop and implement practical activities, such as experts meetings, workshops, exercises, and senior-level policy dialogues, that promote capacity-building across the areas of nuclear detection, forensics, and response and mitigation and to explore potential new areas of work that would benefit from GICNT focus.  The GICNT leadership also remains fully committed to working with its five official observers to ensure that GICNT activities continue to complement and support their programs of work.

As the GICNT celebrates its 10th Anniversary since being launched by the United States and Russia in 2006, the Netherlands has agreed to host a High Level Anniversary Meeting in The Hague (Netherlands) on 15-16 June 2016. The aim is to provide a retrospective view, demonstrating the unique contributions of the GICNT to nuclear security since 2006, while also facilitating a forward-looking view and discussion, identifying nuclear security challenges over the next decade (2016-2026), and the actions GICNT may take to address these challenges. 

Joint Statement on U.S.-Japan Cooperation

US-Japan Joint Statement on Nuclear Security Cooperation

Recalling President Obama and Prime Minister Abe’s pledge at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands:

Today in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), Prime Minister Abe and President Obama announced that Japan and the United States have completed the removal of all highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium fuels from the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) in Japan. This project was accomplished on an accelerated timeline well ahead of schedule, thanks to the hard work and strong cooperation from both sides.  This effort represents the realization of a commitment first announced at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague and reiterated during Prime Minister Abe’s April 2015 visit to Washington, D.C.  It furthers our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials.  The United States will downblend the HEU to low enriched uranium (LEU) for use in civilian activities and convert the plutonium into a less sensitive form for final disposition.

Today our two countries further demonstrate our determination to make contributions to the efforts to minimize stocks of HEU worldwide by announcing our pledge to work together to remove all HEU fuels from the Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA) to the United States for downblend and permanent threat reduction.  This removal will be made possible by the conversion of KUCA from HEU to LEU fuels, when technically and economically feasible. KUCA will continue to serve its important missions in relevant research and human resource development, with fuels that will no longer present a risk of theft and use by nuclear terrorists.

The removal of HEU and plutonium fuels from the FCA and our pledge to convert KUCA are part of the ongoing activities of the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG).  Under the NSWG, we have taken a layered approach to nuclear security that involves reducing quantities of sensitive nuclear material, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to nuclear material, strengthening emergency preparedness, and improving nuclear forensics capabilities.  The United States and Japan are also sharing and will continue to share best practices on a possible framework for an integrated national response to incidents of nuclear and radioactive materials found out of regulatory control.

The NSWG further facilitates bilateral cooperation on a range of issues including nuclear security training, the physical protection of nuclear material, safeguards, and transportation security. The United States especially applauds the indispensable role which the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) is playing in the capacity building of personnel from other countries, particularly those from Asian countries, and expects ISCN to continue to serve as a leading Center of Excellence in this area.  

In order to further strengthen cooperative efforts on preventing nuclear terrorism, and to continue to address Nuclear Security Summit goals, both sides have commenced negotiations on a framework to enable the exchange of classified information in the area of nuclear security, with the shared intention of reaching an agreement shortly.  Japan and the United States will continue our NSWG under the U.S.-Japan Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation, maintaining its leadership role in strengthening global nuclear security.     

Statement by the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction

We, the Partners of the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (the Global Partnership), supporting the goals and commitments of the Nuclear Security Summits, express our intention to continue our efforts aimed at developing and implementing projects to prevent non-state actors from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); and coordinating projects, including project resources, between and among partners and relevant international organizations.

One of the main focus areas of the Global Partnership is strengthening nuclear and radiological security and preventing non-state actors from acquiring these materials, notably through providing a valuable platform for building partnerships, coordination and cooperation on nuclear security programs and activities.  Within the framework of the Global Partnership, both single-donor and jointly funded projects are implemented in countries requesting assistance with nuclear or radiological security. 

We seek opportunities for cooperation with countries that are not participants in this multilateral initiative and express interest in joint work to implement the commitments made by the leaders who attended at the Nuclear Security Summits, notably the Action Plan in support of the Global Partnership.

Since 2014, the Partners of the Global Partnership have contributed more than €47 million to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund (NSF) to support the IAEA's central role in the global nuclear security framework in addition to other bilateral and multilateral contributions to enhance nuclear security in a number of thematic areas.  We welcome the continuation of such support, not least because the important projects implemented within the framework of the Fund are carried out only by voluntary contributions.  In meeting our mandate to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540, we intend to coordinate our work with the 1540 Committee of the United Nations Security Council to match requests with offers of international assistance.

We also provide assistance to promote the prompt universalization and implementation of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; assist states to join such international agreements as the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism; and encourage states to make a commitment to the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources.

U.S.-China Joint Statement on Nuclear Security Cooperation

1.  Today in Washington, D.C., on the occasion of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), we, the United States and China, declare our commitment to working together to foster a peaceful and stable international environment by reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism and striving for a more inclusive, coordinated, sustainable and robust global nuclear security architecture for the common benefit and security of all.

2.  The United States and China, in this regard, are announcing the successful completion of the inaugural round of bilateral discussions on nuclear security that took place on February 20, 2016, in Stockholm, Sweden. We plan to continue this dialogue on an annual basis, so as to intensify our cooperation to prevent nuclear terrorism and continue advancing Nuclear Security Summit goals.

3.  We further demonstrate today our conviction that strong communication and cooperation are essential to nuclear security by committing to continue strong support for the work of relevant international agencies on nuclear security, in accordance with their respective mandates, through engagement of our experts as well as financial and in-kind contributions.

4.  Together we continue to collaborate on key areas of nuclear security. In particular, we recognize significant accomplishments and ongoing engagement in the following areas:

5.  On conversion of Miniature Neutron Source Reactors (MNSR) from highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, the United States and China express satisfaction on the recent LEU start-up of the prototype MNSR reactor near Beijing, China. Building on this successful collaboration, China commits to work with the United States to convert its remaining MNSR reactors at Shenzhen University. Further, the United States and China together commit to work through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to support the conversion of MNSR reactors in Ghana and Nigeria as soon as possible. China reaffirms its readiness, upon the request of respective countries, to convert all remaining Chinese-origin MNSRs worldwide.

6.  On nuclear security training and best practices, the United States and China express satisfaction on the successful completion and official opening of the nuclear security Center of Excellence (COE) in Beijing, China on 18 March, 2016. The COE is a world-class venue to meet China's domestic nuclear security training requirements, as well as a forum for bilateral and regional best practice exchanges, and a venue for demonstrating advanced technologies related to nuclear security. The United States and China commit to continued engagement on nuclear security training and best practices to maximize the use and effectiveness of the COE. China further commits to sponsor training programs at the COE for regional partners and other international participants to further global nuclear security awareness and engagement.

7.  On counter nuclear smuggling, the United States and China state our enduring commitment to prevent terrorists, criminals, or other unauthorized actors from acquiring nuclear or other radioactive materials. Recognizing the need for strengthened international cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling, we will continue to seek opportunities to deepen our joint efforts to investigate nuclear and radioactive material smuggling networks; detect, recover and secure material out of regulatory control; and successfully arrest and prosecute the criminals involved. The United States and China will continue to coordinate efforts to strengthen counter nuclear smuggling capabilities and share best practices with the international community, taking full advantage of the training programs sponsored by the China Customs Training Center for Radiation Detection. We further commit to continuing a discussion in 2016 on counter nuclear smuggling where our two countries can exchange views on the nuclear smuggling threat, effective tools to counter this threat, and how our governments could strengthen collaboration in this area.

8.  On the security of radioactive sources, the United States and China express satisfaction on the fruitful cooperation between the two sides in enhancing the security of radioactive sources, in particular regarding recovery of disused sources and transport security of radioactive sources. We commit to further strengthen cooperation in this regard, and facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices with other countries.

9.  The United States and China also express satisfaction on the recent signature of the Statement of Intent on Commodity Identification Training Cooperation between the General Administration of Customs of China and the Department of Energy of the United States.

10.  The United States and China express their strong commitment to addressing the evolving nuclear security challenge through continuing activities sustained efforts after the current Nuclear Security Summit process concludes.