U.S. Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors on Nuclear Security

Mr. Chairman,
Before proceeding with this morning’s work, I would like to take a moment to recall the terrible attacks on New York and Washington, DC which took place eleven years ago today.  This occasion serves as a sobering reminder of the thousands of innocent people from more than 90 countries lost to these acts of brutality, and the need for the nations of the world to join together in achieving peace and security for all.

Mr. Chairman,
The United States welcomes the publication of the IAEA Nuclear Security Report 2012 as contained in document “GOV/2012/41.”  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.  This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Agency’s activities in nuclear security.  The United States values the increased emphasis on nuclear security at the Agency, and we hope the Secretariat will continue to take actions to ensure that the importance of nuclear security is appropriately reflected at the Agency.

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.  The Summits reaffirmed the essential role of the IAEA in global nuclear security, and advanced a common approach and commitment to nuclear security.  Now, more countries are working to strengthen the security of nuclear materials under their control, reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, and exchange best practices.  The Summits 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.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States would like to call attention to recent progress in advancing our ratification of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).  This progress is noted in our response to Director General Amano’s letter encouraging all Member States that have not yet done so to adhere to the Convention and its Amendment as soon as possible.  Our response is being made available to all Member States as an INFCIRC.  It is our hope that the United States may be able to deposit our instrument with the Agency soon.  We urge others to accelerate their ratification processes in order that the only multilateral legally binding agreement dealing with the physical protection of nuclear material can enter into force.

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, six Implementing Guides, and nine Technical Guidance documents.  The IAEA should continue to focus on the development of the “top-level” documents.

The United States places high importance on developing an “Implementing Guide” for unauthorized removal of nuclear material and sabotage under INFCIRC/225/Revision 5 on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities, and one to promote the sustainability of improvements to nuclear security systems. The United States urges the Agency to initiate work on both of these documents.    We are pleased with progress that has been made on the Implementing Guide for Transport, as well as other Guides and we will continue to send our technical experts to collaborate on the development of these important documents.   In particular, the “Implementing Guide for Nuclear Security Detection Architectures” will fill a critical gap in advancing nuclear security, and we look forward to its publication in the Nuclear Security Series.

Mr. Chairman,

The United States considers the Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs) to be a valuable tool for Member States, and we encourage more Member States to take advantage of developing 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, while respecting the confidentiality requirements of the participating state.  We think this will contribute to better sharing of best practices and lessons learned.  Since the INSSPs represent a framework of nuclear security activities derived directly from IAEA guidance, the implementation of nuclear security activities in Member States should be linked closely to INSSPs.  We commend the efforts of the Office of Nuclear Security to accelerate its plans to work with States on INSSPs.

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 the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN).  The United States looks forward to the inaugural Master’s Degree program in nuclear security in early 2013.

In the area of nuclear security training, the United States continues to support the Agency’s training program.  This year marked the 23rd 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 make enhancements to the International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS).  The United States would like to highlight our recent request to conduct an IPPAS mission at a U.S. facility in 2013.

The United States supports efforts to increase the number of States participating in the Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB), which currently has 114 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 among 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 modest increase in funding for nuclear security in the 2012-2013 regular budgets, which was agreed to last year and which supports continuity in the management of the Agency’s nuclear security activities.

We would like to use this opportunity to announce that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is hosting an International Regulators Conference on Nuclear Security on December 4-6, 2012, in Rockville, Maryland.  We are certain that the participants will benefit greatly from hearing the Director General’s keynote address at this conference, and we look forward to broad participation from Member States.  Finally, the United States looks forward to participating in the 2013 International Conference on Nuclear Security and continuing to explore ways to strengthen the IAEA Nuclear Security Program.

Mr. Chairman,
Turning now to sub-Item 5(b) on the agenda:
At its first meeting in June 2012, the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee approved the Nuclear Security Fundamentals and recommended that it be sent to the Board of Governors for endorsement.  The United States endorses the publication of the “Draft Nuclear Security Fundamentals: Objective and Essential Elements of a State’s Nuclear Security Regime,” which is presented to this Board in document GOV/2012/39.

The United States attaches great importance to the Nuclear Security Fundamentals.  The Fundamentals document functions as the top-tier publication in the IAEA Nuclear Security Series, which serves as a technically-sound and internationally-accepted set of publications with consistent guidance for implementing nuclear security measures.  The Fundamentals sets out the Objectives and Essential Elements of a national nuclear security regime.  The United States appreciates greatly the work of the Member States, the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee, and the Secretariat in the development and approval of this important document.  We reiterate our endorsement of the Nuclear Security Fundamentals.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.