Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Nuclear Security

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 9-13, 2013

Nuclear Security

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Joseph E. Macmanus

U.S. Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States welcomes the publication of the IAEA Nuclear Security Report 2013 as contained in document “GOV/2013/36.”  We are pleased to see all the progress achieved in strengthening the international nuclear security framework.  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.

 

The United States strongly supports the IAEA’s central role in these achievements and its work to implement the Nuclear Security Plan 2010-2013.  The United States welcomes the publication of the Nuclear Security Plan 2014 to 2017.  In particular, we note that this plan recognizes the value of Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans and their use as a tool for States to identify their nuclear security needs and coordinate improvements with the IAEA and donor States.  It also highlights the interface among safety and security and efforts to establish a coordination mechanism, the importance of promoting legally binding and non-binding international instruments, and the increased focus on nuclear forensics and cyber security.

 

We also support the continued commitment the IAEA is demonstrating in increasing the emphasis on nuclear security at the Agency in the coming years, including the elevation of the Office of Nuclear Security to a division. We further congratulate the IAEA on the success of its Ministerial Conference –  IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security: Enhancing Global Efforts – held in July 2013, which brought together policymakers and experts from IAEA Member States to discuss and promote international nuclear security.  We hope the Secretariat will continue to take actions that ensure the importance of nuclear security continues to be appropriately reflected at the Agency, and that the IAEA continues its essential role as an effective coordinating body for nuclear security in Member States.

 

Responding to President Obama’s initiative, the United States and other countries raised global nuclear security to the highest level at the April 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit and again in March 2012 at the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.  We look forward to building on the achievements from these summits of 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, and the recently announced 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which the United States will host.  It is essential to maintain the momentum these Summits have provided to our efforts to improve nuclear security.  The Summits have reaffirmed the essential role of the IAEA in global nuclear security and demonstrated a renewed international commitment to nuclear security.  Further, we have seen tangible accomplishments, at the global, national, and site level, born from the Summit process, in priority areas identified by the IAEA and by Summit participants.  We have seen significant improvements in areas such as highly-enriched uranium minimization – where 11countries have given up all of their HEU and the United States has eliminated more than 19 metric tons of HEU since the 2010 Washington Summit – counter nuclear smuggling, and nuclear forensics.  The Summits reinforced the principle that all States are responsible for ensuring the security of their materials and facilities, and for participating in collective efforts to strengthen security globally.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States strongly supports the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC).  The NSGC is open to all Member States, and we encourage more states to participate.  We welcome the NSGC’s work to prioritize future publications in the Nuclear Security Series, which now consists of three Recommendations publications, eight Implementing Guides, and nine Technical Guidance documents.  Several additional implementing guides and technical documents are underway or being revised.  These documents are key references for countries in striving to improve and maintain quality nuclear security, and the IAEA should continue to focus on the development of the “top-level” documents.  We further applaud the NSGC’s efforts to fulfill the Agency’s goal of managing the safety and security interface so that neither side adversely impacts the other.

 

Notably, we applaud the progress on developing the Implementing Guide for Theft and Sabotage under INFCIRC/225/Revision 5, as well as for the implementing guides for NSS 14:“Nuclear security recommendations on radioactive material and associated facilities,” and NSS 15: “Nuclear security recommendations on nuclear and other radioactive material out of regulatory control.”

 

Mr. Chairman,

The United States considers the INSSPs to be a valuable tool for Member States, and we continue to encourage more Member States to take advantage of the opportunity to develop an INSSP with the Office of Nuclear Security.  We look forward to working with the Agency and Member States to explore ways the Agency could track and report progress on INSSP actions and better match donor states with identified needs, while respecting the confidentiality requirements of the participating state.  We think this will contribute to better sharing of best practices and lessons learned.  Because the INSSPs represent a framework for nuclear security activities derived directly from IAEA guidance, the implementation of nuclear security activities in Member States should be linked closely to INSSPs.  Like Country Program Frameworks for the Technical Cooperation Program, INSSPs offer the opportunity to align those activities with IAEA guidance on best practices and with the priorities of each Member State.  We commend the efforts of the Office of Nuclear Security to accelerate its plans to work with States on INSSPs.

 

The United States also applauds the IAEA’s increasing focus on cyber security at nuclear facilities.  The breadth and severity of the cyber threat continues to increase, and we urge the IAEA to serve as a resource for countries as they strive to improve cyber security, particularly through guidance documents and outreach programs.

 

The United States continues our support for Agency activities to develop global nuclear security education, including the development of academic textbooks and teaching material.  We will continue to participate in and support the International Nuclear Security Education Network.  We commend the steps taken this year to develop and offer the first PILOT Master’s program in nuclear security.

 

The United States also continues to support the Agency’s training program.  This year marked the 24th time that the United States has hosted the IAEA International Training Course on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.  We consider the IAEA training courses to be an important element in strengthening international nuclear security.  The United States also considers the Nuclear Security Support Centers to be crucial to long-term objectives in building capacity, and training remains a major element of these Centers.  We are participating actively in the Agency’s International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centers.  We encourage Member States with support centers, or that may be contemplating the establishment of a center, to participate and take advantage of the fruitful collaboration.

 

The United States believes that all states can benefit from the Agency’s nuclear security advisory services.  We commend the Agency for maintaining high quality in conducting its advisory services, and we welcome efforts to share lessons learned and to make enhancements to the International Physical Protection Advisory Services (IPPAS).  The United States would like to highlight the first IPPAS mission to be conducted at a U.S. facility, which will be held in October 2013.

 

The United States supports efforts to increase the number of States participating in the Incident and Trafficking Database, which currently has more than 120 participating States.  We encourage all States to share urgent and relevant information on nuclear security, including illicit trafficking and other incidents involving nuclear and radioactive material out of regulatory control, in a comprehensive and timely manner.  We also encourage the IAEA to continue to facilitate timely exchange of this information in order to help inform Member State resource and planning decisions on nuclear and radioactive material security.

 

The United States commends the IAEA for hosting regular, informal information exchange meetings with the various international initiatives on nuclear security.  We are encouraged that the coordination among the various complementary activities, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, UN Security Council Resolution 1540, the Global Partnership, the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), and others, remains productive.

 

The United States continues to support the Nuclear Security Fund through voluntary contributions.  We urge others to continue their support to this Fund and for those Member States who have not contributed to do so.  We also note the recommended modest increase in funding for nuclear security in the 2014 regular budget which supports continuity in the management of the Agency’s nuclear security activities.

 

The United States looks forward to exploring further ways to strengthen IAEA Nuclear Security Program.

 

Mr. Chairman,

With these comments, we are prepared to take note of the 2013 Nuclear Security report and to approve the new Nuclear Security Plan 2014-2017.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.