USA — Defense, Energy Experts Aid China’s Nuclear Security

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2011 — The Defense and Ener­gy depart­ments are work­ing under a gov­ern­ment-to-gov­ern­ment agree­ment signed Jan. 19 with Chi­na to estab­lish a region­al cen­ter of excel­lence there for nuclear secu­ri­ty, a Pen­ta­gon offi­cial said.

Rebec­ca K.C. Hers­man, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for coun­ter­ing weapons of mass destruc­tion, told Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice the effort will allow the agen­cies to lever­age their exper­tise and resources for “max­i­mum effect to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s nuclear secu­ri­ty agen­da.”

In April 2009, from Hrad­cany Square in Prague in the Czech Repub­lic, Oba­ma called for reduc­ing the num­ber of nuclear weapons in the world and build­ing a new frame­work for civ­il nuclear coop­er­a­tion. A year lat­er at the Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Sum­mit here, the Unit­ed States and Chi­na agreed to strength­en coop­er­a­tion in nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion, nuclear secu­ri­ty and the fight against nuclear ter­ror­ism.

Also at the sum­mit, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao com­mit­ted to build­ing the Cen­ter of Excel­lence on Nuclear Secu­ri­ty out­side Bei­jing.

Accord­ing to an Ener­gy Depart­ment fact sheet, the agree­ment paves the way for its Nation­al Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion and the Defense Depart­ment to work with Atom­ic Ener­gy Author­i­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Chi­na to cre­ate a cen­tral site for train­ing in all aspects of nuclear secu­ri­ty.

“In many ways, DOD is the sup­port­ing play­er here to the broad­er DOE objec­tives,” Hers­man said, “but DOD brings strengths to table, par­tic­u­lar­ly in … site secu­ri­ty, trans­porta­tion secu­ri­ty, inci­dent response [and] inven­to­ry man­age­ment, as well as expe­ri­ence in devel­op­ing and pro­vid­ing train­ing and cur­ric­u­la for nuclear secu­ri­ty.”

DOD and DOE have worked togeth­er in the past, she not­ed. “These are all things we have done on mul­ti­ple occa­sions direct­ly and in sup­port of DOE,” Hers­man said, “so we see this as a nat­ur­al fit for the [Cen­ter of Excel­lence] effort, which is expect­ed to incor­po­rate all these ele­ments.”

The cen­ter will serve as a forum for exchang­ing tech­ni­cal infor­ma­tion, shar­ing best prac­tices, devel­op­ing train­ing cours­es and pro­mot­ing tech­ni­cal col­lab­o­ra­tions to enhance nuclear secu­ri­ty in Chi­na and through­out Asia.

The two-sto­ry cen­ter will be financed through a U.S.-China cost-shar­ing arrange­ment and is expect­ed to be com­plete by 2012, said Dave Huizen­ga, prin­ci­pal deputy assis­tant admin­is­tra­tor for the office of defense nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion in the Ener­gy Department’s Nation­al Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion.

“This coop­er­a­tion is large­ly with the non­weapons side — the Chi­nese Atom­ic Ener­gy Author­i­ty, which runs their civil­ian research facil­i­ties and has a role in their nuclear pow­er facil­i­ties,” Huizen­ga said. “But the hope is that if we share best prac­tices and this infor­ma­tion gets to [the non­weapons] part of the Chi­nese nuclear sec­tor, the defense peo­ple will ben­e­fit from it indi­rect­ly.”

The Nation­al Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion has had an ongo­ing part­ner­ship with the Chi­nese since 2005, Huizen­ga said.

“We’ve had a robust best-prac­tices shar­ing exchange of infor­ma­tion on phys­i­cal pro­tec­tion and guard forces and mate­ri­als con­trol and account­ing — all the things you do to make sure that nuclear mate­ri­als stay in the facil­i­ty where they’re sup­posed to be and aren’t moved off illic­it­ly,” he said.

The agree­ment has tak­en such coop­er­a­tion to a new lev­el, he added.

“We’ve had a small facil­i­ty where we’ve been doing this train­ing since 2005,” Huizen­ga said. “But we want to con­sol­i­date every­thing into one larg­er mock-up train­ing cen­ter so we can bring Chi­nese and oth­ers in the region into a state-of-the-art facil­i­ty where they can get hands-on expe­ri­ence under­stand­ing what a guard would do if an alarm went off on the fence on the perime­ter of a nuclear mate­ri­als stor­age site, for instance.”

The cen­ter, Hers­man added, also like­ly will offer the fol­low­ing:
— Train­ing nuclear site per­son­nel to mea­sure and account for nuclear mate­r­i­al and to design and install nuclear mate­r­i­al secu­ri­ty sys­tems;
— Train­ing pro­tec­tive force per­son­nel using sce­nario-dri­ven threat-response exer­cis­es;
— Train­ing per­son­nel on inter­na­tion­al nuclear safe­guards require­ments and inspec­tion tech­niques; and
— Envi­ron­men­tal test­ing of nuclear secu­ri­ty sys­tem com­po­nents.

Accord­ing to a White House fact sheet, the U.S. and Chi­nese gov­ern­ments have coop­er­at­ed since April 2004 to enhance nuclear secu­ri­ty under the Peace­ful Uses of Nuclear Tech­nol­o­gy Agree­ment.

In 2005, the U.S. and Chi­na spon­sored a joint tech­nol­o­gy demon­stra­tion at the Chi­na Insti­tute of Atom­ic Ener­gy out­side Bei­jing that fea­tured estab­lished nuclear secu­ri­ty and inter­na­tion­al safe­guards tech­nolo­gies and illus­trat­ed nuclear secu­ri­ty best prac­tices.

Since 2005, experts from the Unit­ed States and Chi­na have con­duct­ed more than 15 work­shops on nuclear secu­ri­ty issues and activ­i­ties.

“Chi­na has always described the cen­ter as sup­port­ing region­al and Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency nuclear secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion,” Hers­man said, “and we strong­ly sup­port that goal.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →