WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. and Russian officials today concluded a three-day workshop in Kolontaevo, Russia, designed to exchange expertise on the secure transportation of nuclear materials. This joint workshop builds on and highlights U.S.-Russian cooperation outlined in the joint statement on nuclear security that Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed in July.
"The National Nuclear Security Administration's long-standing cooperation with Russia on critical nuclear security issues demonstrates a shared commitment to learning and collaboration," said NNSA's Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Kenneth Baker. "Working together to ensure the secure transport of nuclear materials is another way we can help meet the President's commitment to secure nuclear material."
Members of the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Material Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A) Program, and Russian transportation security representatives from Rosatom, Atomguard, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs–Internal Troops (MVD-IT) participated in this week's workshop, which is a continuation of a cooperative meeting at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, in March 2009. NNSA's Office of Secure Transportation was part of that meeting.
U.S. subject matter experts from the MPC&A Program have been cooperating with Russian experts since 1996 to improve the training, equipment and procedures of guard forces accompanying shipments of nuclear material. As of October 2009, 97 cargo trucks, 115 escort vehicles, 77 cargo railcars, 25 guard railcars and 283 security overpacks (reinforced nuclear material transport containers) have been procured through this cooperative program. These activities will help ensure the sustainability and optimal utilization of transportation security assets and vehicles provided by the MPC&A Program.
U.S. and Russian participants expressed their belief that this workshop will result in a better understanding regarding procedures and training for protective forces involved in the shipment of nuclear material in the Russian Federation.
At a summit in Moscow earlier this year, Presidents Obama and Medvedev issued a joint statement outlining expanding cooperation on nuclear security issues. In addition to accelerating efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world, the joint statement included a commitment to strengthen our cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and stop acts of nuclear terrorism.
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