NNSA Hosted Japanese Delegation to Discuss Physical Protection Issues

Press Release
Dec 10, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) participated in a series of physical protection discussions with a Japanese delegation this week in Washington, D.C.

Participants in the third annual U.S./Japan physical protection consultation meeting discussed how to work together to ensure the protection of nuclear material and facilities from terrorists seeking to acquire nuclear material for weapons of mass destruction or for other malicious purposes.  Topics discussed included: graded approaches to physical protection, power reactor regulatory oversight programs, physical protection inspections and exercises, and physical protection education programs.

This annual meeting supports the commitment made by President Obama and Prime Minister Hatoyama during the November 2009 U.S.-Japan Summit to ensure that civil nuclear materials and facilities receive the highest levels of physical protection.

"This annual meeting helps us maintain our strong working relationship with Japan on physical protection issues," said Steven Aoki, NNSA's Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism. "We are reconfirming our commitment to work together to share ideas in protecting nuclear energy assets."

Physical protection cooperation between the United States and Japan has strengthened significantly over the last few years.  In addition to annual consultations, U.S. and Japanese experts have engaged in efforts to develop a security-by-design handbook for future facilities based on current physical protection systems under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan.  Additionally, Sandia National Laboratories and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency have been collaborating in several technical areas related to nuclear material and nuclear facilities, most recently regarding vulnerability assessment methodologies, access control design, and intrusion detection technology.  Japan also has played a key role in working with the United States and other IAEA Member States to revise the IAEA document "INFCIRC/225" that provides recommendations for countries to ensure the physical protection of their nuclear material and nuclear facilities.

Agencies and organizations representing Japan include: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry/Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (METI/NISA); Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES); Nuclear Material Control Center; and the Nuclear Safety Technology Center (NUSTEC).

U.S. participants include NNSA, Department of Energy, Department of State, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Sandia National Laboratories.

View photos of the delegation here (external link).

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.

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NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371