USA and China cooperate on nuclear security

20 January 2011

The USA and China have signed an intergovernmental agreement to establish a centre of excellence in China to promote effective nuclear security and safeguards. They have also agreed to set up a radiation detection training centre in the country. 


The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in Washington by US energy secretary Steven Chu and chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) Chen Quifa during a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.


Hu-Obama Jan 2011 (White House)
Hu and Obama in Washington (Image: White House)


Under the agreement, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense will work with CAEA representatives in China to develop a central site for training in all aspects of nuclear security.


In a statement, NNSA said, "The centre will serve as a forum for exchanging technical information, sharing best practices, developing training courses, and promoting technical collaborations that will enhance nuclear security in China and throughout Asia." It added, "It will also help to meet the training needs for China's expanding nuclear sector and promote nuclear security best practices throughout the region."


The centre, NNSA said, "will enable the training of nuclear site personnel on measurements and accounting of nuclear material and on the design and installation of nuclear material security systems. It will also have the capability to train protective force personnel using scenario-driven response exercises and give hands-on training on international nuclear safeguards requirements and inspection techniques."


Hu agreed to establish such a centre during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010.


Combating nuclear smuggling 


Meanwhile, China and the USA have also signed another MoU to establish a radiation detection training centre in Qinhuangdao in China's Hebei province – the first of its kind in the region.


The agreement was signed in Washington by Daniel Poneman, deputy energy secretary, and Sun Yibiao, vice minister of the General Administration of China Customs.


Under the agreement, NNSA will provide radiation detection equipment and support the development of training materials for use at the Qinhuangdao training centre.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News