Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release 


U.S. Support to the International Atomic Energy Agency
for Nuclear Security

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plays a central coordinating role for nuclear security activities involving both Member States and other international organizations and initiatives.  Through implementing its Nuclear Security Plan, the IAEA also supports Member State efforts to effectively secure nuclear and radiological materials and protect against acts of nuclear terrorism and related threats.  In addition, the Agency supports permanent threat reduction by assisting states to reduce and eliminate nuclear material by converting facilitates that use highly enriched uranium (HEU) to use low enriched uranium (LEU), and removing HEU for disposition. 

The United States is a strong supporter of the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Security through advocacy, technical expertise, in-kind support and voluntary funding.  Since 2002, the United States has contributed over $130 million to the Nuclear Security Fund.  These funds support IAEA efforts to (1) develop comprehensive nuclear security guidance and training, (2) advise and assist Member States to improve regulatory oversight and infrastructure to protect nuclear materials both in storage and during transport, (3) operate the Incident and Trafficking Database and support efforts to combat illicit trafficking in nuclear materials, (4) support to mitigate insider threats at nuclear facilities, including implementation of nuclear material accounting and control programs for nuclear security, (5) build capacity via national nuclear security centers of excellence, Nuclear Security Support Centers and the International Nuclear Security Education Network, and (6) support the implementation of the international legal framework for nuclear security, including the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment.

The United States works with the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Energy to convert research reactors and isotope production facilities from HEU to LEU fuel and targets and remove HEU once it is no longer required.  Current cooperation includes the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) Working Group, which facilitates cooperation among the reactor operators in China, Ghana, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan and Syria to plan for converting these reactors and repatriating of HEU to China.  In addition, the IAEA has played an important role in repatriating Russian-origin HEU, most recently in Uzbekistan and Georgia.

Finally, the United States supports the IAEA and Member States to improve emergency preparedness and response capabilities by providing expertise to develop guidance, conducting training courses on emergency management, maintaining capabilities to assist others through the Response and Assistance Network, supporting the conduct of IAEA convention exercises, and participating in medical assistance missions.