EU/US Joint Steering Committee on nuclear security research
The JRC hosted the second Joint Steering Committee held in Brussels between the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). This meeting took place under a 2010 Agreement in the field of nuclear material safeguards and security research and development.
The Agreement provides a framework for greater technical cooperation in areas such as nuclear safeguards, border monitoring, nuclear forensics, export controls, and physical protection of nuclear materials facilities. This meeting served as an opportunity to reinforce important commitments to expand technical cooperation in these areas, and ultimately advance mutual nuclear security and non-proliferation objectives.
Director General of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) Dominique Ristori and NNSA’s Deputy Administrator, Anne Harrington, commenced four new projects that will allow for collaboration on certified reference material development, reference material production, spent fuel assay verification, and nuclear forensics.
The parties also discussed mechanisms for prioritisation of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security activities, outlined ideas for strengthening export control implementation and evaluating radiation detection equipment and advanced coordination for support provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
JRC Director General affirmed: "Our productive, long-standing partnership with the United States is a top priority. Its impact is not only far-reaching, but also essential to promoting the highest possible standards in nuclear security and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons”.
“In a fiscally constrained environment, it is important for us to discuss prioritisation and look for ways to maximise our impact,” said Deputy Administrator Harrington. “We must think of innovative ways to leverage our resources and engage other countries in our mission to strengthen nuclear security and non-proliferation efforts.”
The 2010 Agreement calls for closer collaboration on research and development of nuclear security and non-proliferation technologies, as well as for enhanced coordination of outreach to third countries.
Since the first Joint Steering Committee meeting in July 2011, NNSA and the JRC have achieved numerous accomplishments through technical collaboration and have significantly expanded joint outreach activities.
The United States and Euratom have a long and productive history of cooperation on nuclear security and non-proliferation that dates back more than 30 years. The Euratom treaty was adopted in 1957 to establish the conditions for the development of nuclear energy in Europe by sharing resources, protecting the general public, and associating other countries and international organisations with this work.