New collaboration between the U.S. and the UK is expanding efforts to address nuclear and radiological security and proliferation threats. Representatives from both countries signed a memorandum of understanding on April 14 to formalize the cooperation.

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard LeBaron (left) and Mark Higson of the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform sign the memorandum of understanding.

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard LeBaron (left) and Mark Higson of the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform sign the memorandum of understanding.

As part of the program, an initial £2m will fund initiatives to secure high-risk nuclear and other radioactive materials and combat their illicit trafficking.

U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) welcomed the collaboration.

NNSA Administrator, Thomas D’Agostino said, “We appreciate the opportunity to work together with our allies and other countries to advance our common international security goals. These partnerships allow NNSA to make even more progress toward strengthening nuclear security and countering the threat of nuclear proliferation.”

UK Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks said, “Joining forces with the U.S. will provide further impetus to our threat reduction projects. Our first joint initiative will be a new project to enhance long-term security of highly active spent radioactive sources in Ukraine, and we are already in discussion with Ukraine and the U.S. about how best to move this forward.”

The partnership builds on the success of the UK’s existing Global Threat Reduction Program.

Significant progress for the year included management of the stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned submarines in northwestern Russia, further progress on construction of a key chemical weapons destruction facility, redirection of former scientists with expertise on weapons of mass destruction, and the implementation of a program to enhance the security of nuclear materials.

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard LeBaron (left) and Mark Higson of the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. (Embassy photo by Sarah-Jane Mayhew)

U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Richard LeBaron (left) and Mark Higson of the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
(Embassy photo by Sarah-Jane Mayhew)