In March, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, (known as the NNSA), the Department of Defense, and a host of international VIPs, participated with the China Atomic Energy Authority, the CAEA, to commission China’s new nuclear security Center of Excellence, the COE. The commissioning was held in Beijing, China on March 18th.
The COE will address China’s domestic nuclear security training requirements, provide a forum for bilateral and regional best practices exchanges, and serve as a venue for demonstrating advanced technologies related to nuclear security. The COE opening is a major achievement for both countries, occurring as it did in advance of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
“This Center of Excellence is a world-class facility for Chinese, regional, and international nuclear security training and technical exchanges. The Department of Energy partnership with China on this effort has been exemplary, and we look forward to continued engagement on nuclear security best practices,” said Secretary Moniz.
The United States works bilaterally with partner countries and international organizations to enhance the security of nuclear materials worldwide. Protection of nuclear materials is a key pillar of President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.
The NNSA Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, or DNN, supports this strategy by working with international partners to improve their capacity to secure nuclear material. This is achieved through support for: regulations and oversight; enhanced nuclear security culture; best practices training, training centers and technical exchanges; and select upgrades to facility security and accounting systems.
The two countries’ nuclear security agencies have a long-term collaboration that has supported more than 50 training and technical exchanges on nuclear security best practices. These trainings form the basis for continued collaboration on developing indigenous Chinese curriculum for the COE. Beyond China, DNN is actively engaged with current and planned COEs in Japan, Republic of Korea, and Kazakhstan. DNN works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as bilaterally with over 21 partner countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
The United States is proud to work with China and other nations to ensure that commercial nuclear power and radiation sources are safe and secure.