Australia and United States strengthen nuclear security collaboration with MoU

ANSTO

ANSTO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to further solidify Australia’s and the United States’ strong relationship and commitment to the advancement of mutual nuclear security and non-proliferation.

The signing of the MoU took place during the International Atomic Energy Agency’s International Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna last week.

Signed by ANSTO’s Group Executive for Nuclear Security, Safety and Safeguards Dr Miles Apperley, and NNSA’s Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Corey Hinderstein, the MoU will enhance the strategic collaboration between the two respective organisations on matters of nuclear security and science.

ANSTO has partnered with the NNSA for over a decade on nuclear security science, with a focus on nuclear forensic science activities to analyse and determine the source and origin of nuclear and radioactive materials. Other work carried out between the organisations has centred the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, including delivering training programs and resources to countries in the South-East Asia and Pacific region.

ANSTO's Group Executive for Nuclear Security, Safety and Safeguards Dr Miles Apperley and NNSA's Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Corey Hinderstein
ANSTO’s Group Executive for Nuclear Security, Safety and Safeguards Dr Miles Apperley and NNSA’s Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Corey Hinderstein.

Dr Apperley said the agreement will formalise this cooperation and enable opportunities to work with the United States to further develop Australia’s sovereign nuclear security science capabilities.

“ANSTO deeply values the collaboration between the United States and Australia in nuclear security capabilities, which has been reflective of our long-standing partnership between our two countries,” Dr Apperley said.

“Australia has highly developed and sophisticated nuclear expertise that’s been honed for over 70 years of operations and innovation, with capabilities that are world leading. This agreement will enhance exchange of information, knowledge and experience, for the mutual benefit of our respective nuclear security programs, including developing the nuclear security workforce for the future.”

ANSTO’s engagement with the NNSA under the MoU will aim to:

  • deliver enhanced cooperation in nuclear science and technology used in forensic analysis of nuclear and radioactive materials. This will ensure continued fostering of global non-proliferation cooperation and commitment to the peaceful uses of nuclear technologies.
  • strengthen ANSTO’s nuclear security science capabilities and physical protection training to ensure mitigation of emerging nuclear security risks.
  • support training and development of the nuclear security workforce, and
  • enhance nuclear security capacity in the South-East Asia and Pacific region.

Australia is currently ranked in first place on the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Nuclear Security Index 2023. The NTI Index is a globally recognised assessment and tracking of nuclear security conditions in countries around the world.

ANSTO’s Nuclear Safety, Security, and Stewardship Group underpins Australia’s nuclear capabilities. From the safe operation of Australia’s only nuclear reactor, OPAL, to our work in nuclear safety, environmental monitoring, radioactive materials management, and nuclear forensics, ANSTO delivers nuclear science and technology benefits to Australia.

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