Nuclear Security

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, September 13-17, 2010

Agenda Item 5
Nuclear Security – Measures to Protect Against Nuclear Terrorism

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Glyn Davies

Mr. Chairman,

The United States welcomes the publication of the annual report for the IAEA’s Office of Nuclear Security, which highlights significant accomplishments of the prior year, and describes programmatic goals and priorities for the year to come.

This past April, leaders of 47 nations and three international organizations (including the IAEA) came together in Washington, D.C., to advance a common approach and commitment to nuclear security. Leaders in attendance renewed their commitment to strengthen the security of nuclear materials under their control, reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, and exchange best practices and practical solutions for doing so. The Summit reinforced the principle that all states are responsible for ensuring the security of their materials, for seeking assistance if necessary, and for providing assistance if asked. It promoted the international treaties that address nuclear security and nuclear terrorism and the work of UN Security Council resolution 1540, and it led to specific national commitments and actions that will advance global security.

We request that the Board of Governors take note that the activities of the IAEA Office of Nuclear Security are consistent with the goals set forth in the Communiqué and Work Plan of the Nuclear Security Summit as well as with the individual commitments and work plans that participating states developed as a result of the Summit. The United States reiterates President Obama’s challenge expressed in Prague in 2009 to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world in four years, and notes and welcomes the support of world leaders who attended the Summit to meet this ambitious goal.

The next Nuclear Security Summit will be in 2012 in Seoul. Planning for this event has begun, and Argentina will host the first Sherpa meeting in November of this year for the 2012 Summit. The United States would like to take this opportunity to thank Argentina for hosting the first Sherpa meeting and congratulate South Korea for agreeing to host the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States strongly urges the finalization of the four “top tier” IAEA Nuclear Security Series documents in 2010, and the continued development of the remaining “lower tier” documents. In particular, the United States supports the completion of INFCIRC/225/Rev.5, which will greatly increase the ability of the international community to interpret, develop, and implement a physical protection regime that will be truly global in scope. The United States also proposes that the IAEA develop a technical document to promote the sustainability of improvements to nuclear security systems.

The United States encourages the institutionalization of best security practices through the general acceptance of a strong nuclear security culture. The educational and training programs, the Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans, and the nuclear security advisory missions conducted by the Office of Nuclear Security advance this goal and should be continued. We encourage fellow Member States to take advantage of these services. The United States also supports the important work of WINS – the World Institute of Nuclear Security – in engaging with nuclear industry on best practices.

The continued improvement of individual Member State nuclear security systems strengthens the worldwide ability to prevent, detect, and respond to potential acts of nuclear terrorism. And while individual Member States are responsible for their own activities in support of sustainability, the IAEA provides assistance and training that enables the further realization of such self-sufficiency. The United States strongly supports this mission of the IAEA along with ways to streamline and improve training opportunities.

The United States supports IAEA efforts on improving border security and detection capability at major public events, especially in the area of training and sustainability, and encourages Member States to join other international coalitions designed to enhance regional or global nuclear security efforts and to consider collaboration with states and organizations that can offer support in this area. The Illicit Trafficking Database program, now consisting of 110 Member State participants, should be resourced commensurate with the possibility that nuclear smugglers could provide dangerous materials to terrorists, and we urge Member States to utilize this information to the fullest extent possible.

The United States strongly supports the repatriation of highly enriched uranium, resulting in fewer locations around the world where nuclear material attractive to terrorists is stored, or resulting in permanent risk reduction through downblending.

The United States echoes the statement made yesterday by our EU partners in encouraging IAEA efforts to cooperate with other international organizations and initiatives, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the 1540 Committee, and the UN Counterterrorism Task Force.

We welcome the direction of increasing regularized funding that is allocated to the Office of Nuclear Security. These core funds will enable the Office of Nuclear Security to better prioritize efforts and manage planning activities in general. That being said, regularized funding alone will not be enough to support the full range of IAEA’s vital nuclear security efforts, so we encourage continued contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund and the increased recognition that nuclear security is a core activity of the Agency.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.