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ICONS 2020 – U.S. National Progress Report
February 10, 2020

National Progress Report: United States of America

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Jupiter Laser Facility. (www.llnl.gov/)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Jupiter Laser Facility.


Since the 2016 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Conference on Nuclear Security, the United States has strengthened nuclear and radioactive material security through activities such as:

• Completing 40 “full implementation” inspections of U.S. commercial licensees’ cyber security programs to ensure that operating nuclear power plants are adequately protected from cyber-attacks and assessing the results of these inspections to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their cyber security programs.

• Working with international partners to improve physical protection measures at 10 facilities with nuclear materials and 159 buildings with radioactive materials.

• Assisting with assessments of sealed source devices to harden the devices and/or build in tracking of the devices, lowering the risk of radioactive source theft.

• Conducting over 50 bilateral, regional, and international workshops to improve nuclear security in areas such as cyber, insider threat mitigation, transport, physical protection, and response.

The United States has minimized nuclear and other radioactive materials worldwide by:

• Removing or confirming disposition of over 1,000 kg of nuclear material, including nuclear material from two countries that are now HEU-free.

• Converting from HEU to LEU, working with the IAEA and international partners, two miniature neutron source reactors (in Ghana and Nigeria) and two medical isotope production facilities (in South Africa and the Netherlands).

• Continuing to qualify high-density LEU fuel to convert high performance research reactors, and initiating a program to work with partners on nonproliferation optimized cores for research reactors.

• Replacing 138 high-activity sources with non-radioisotopic alternatives, and publishing information on best practices for such replacements to support risk reduction.

The United States has countered nuclear smuggling by:

• Negotiating and maintaining 14 Counter Nuclear Smuggling (CNS) Joint Action Plans to identify opportunities to prevent, detect, respond to, and investigate nuclear and radioactive material smuggling.

• Partnering with over 75 countries to develop and sustain CNS capabilities.

• Equipping 672 border crossing points worldwide with radiation detection systems, and deploying 177 mobile or man-portable systems, to detect and identify smuggling.

• Promoting the building of baseline capabilities in nuclear forensics through 2 methodologies training courses and 12 workshops. Also conducted bilateral technical collaborations with 4 countries.

The United States has sustained nuclear security globally by:

• Continually verifying that U.S. licensees are implementing appropriate physical protection measures according to their security plans, and are complying with regulatory requirements, via inspection and enforcement activities – demonstrating a leadership role for security globally.

• Improving knowledge and skills by conducting approximately 1,500 nuclear and radiological security workshops, counterterrorism tabletop exercises, and courses for law enforcement officers and first responders involved in nuclear detection operations.

• Developing and supporting IAEA International Training Courses on detection, nuclear forensics, computer security, physical protection, emergency preparedness and response, nuclear material accounting and control, and insider threats, contributing to sustainability of nuclear security worldwide.

• Providing to the IAEA a political commitment to meet the intent of the Guidance on the Management of Disused Radioactive Sources.

• Providing voluntary funding of over $51 million to the IAEA and its Nuclear Security Fund, as well as in-kind support for advisory missions, guidance development, and more.

• Continuing to support and provide funding to the UN 1540 Committee, INTERPOL, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Global Partnership Against Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, and other relevant organizations and initiatives.

• Supporting a new linear accelerator at the IAEA Nuclear Applications Dosimetry Laboratory, for dosimetry and cancer control without radioactive sources.