UK in collaboration with USA to reduce nuclear threats


London : The British and American Government have initialled new collaboration to widen the geographical scope of efforts to address nuclear and radiological security and proliferation threats, British Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has announced .

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As part of the programme, an initial two million pounds is being put into initiatives designed to secure high-risk nuclear and other radioactive materials and combat their illicit trafficking.

The British Government has also published the fifth Annual Report on the Global Threat Reduction Programme, detailing progress made on reducing the threat of proliferation of dangerous nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical materials. Specific progress has been made by the UK in assisting chemical weapon destruction in Russia.

Speaking about the collaboration, Wicks said: ‘Joining forces with the US 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 Ukrainian and the US about how best to move this forward.’

The collaboration was also welcomed by the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) whose 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.’

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Dr Kim Howells also commented on the issue saying that the UK is continuing to deliver on its range of international security and non-proliferation objectives.

“Our range of projects, the majority of which are focused in the Former Soviet Union countries with funding of over 36 million pounds per annum, continue to deliver tangible benefits for UK and global security. The annual report highlights the progress of our work on projects from management of 30 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel in NW Russia to assistance towards the irreversible closure of weapons grade plutonium production reactors in Russia and Kazakhstan.’