U.S., Japan Augment Nonproliferation, Nuclear Security Efforts

Washington - The United States and Japan have agreed to broaden their existing partnership in nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards and security, an Energy Department official says.

Representatives from the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration and Japan's Atomic Energy Agency signed an agreement July 21 that outlines cooperation between the agencies to:

• Improve technologies and procedures for nuclear materials accounting and controls,

• Implement advanced nuclear materials surveillance and containment systems, and

• Enhance the physical security of nuclear facilities and materials.

Ryo Kimura, executive director of the Japanese agency, and Jerry Paul, principal deputy administrator of the NNSA, signed the agreement, which Paul described as "important to the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership that President Bush announced earlier this year," according to a July 21 NNSA news release.  (See related article.)

"Under this agreement, we will be able to work together to develop new technologies and safeguards approaches that will help to meet future global energy needs by using a secure and proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle," Paul said.

NNSA said U.S.-Japanese nuclear security and nonproliferation partnership dates to 1988, when the first formal safeguards agreement was reached with Japan.  The United States also has cooperated with Japan on regional security issues and export control, as well as the physical security of nuclear sites, radiation detection systems for seaports and land border crossings and conversions of nuclear research reactors.

Paul called Japan an important nuclear nonproliferation partner.  He said the agreement "reaffirms our … 20-year history of cooperating on nuclear safety and security."

For more information on U.S. nonproliferation policies and programs, see Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

For further information on Energy Department nuclear security and nonproliferation programs, see the NNSA Web site.