Department of Energy

US–UK Mutual Defense Agreement Marks 60 Years

June 26, 2018

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60th Anniversary of the U.S.-UK Mutual Defense Agreement
Secretary Perry and NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty speak at an Energy Department event celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the U.S.-UK Mutual Defense Agreement. 

WASHINGTON – Officials from the United States and United Kingdom gathered today at DOE headquarters to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.S.–U.K. Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA), which provides for the exchange of defense information relevant to nuclear weapons, naval nuclear propulsion, and nuclear threat reduction.  

On July 3, 1958, U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and British Minister Samuel Hood signed the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation on the Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes

“It has been said many times that the United States and the United Kingdom share a special relationship, and our nuclear defense cooperation is one of the pillars of that relationship,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “The MDA has been central to our shared nuclear security goals, as well as nonproliferation research activities, and we look forward to continuing this vital partnership for decades to come.”

U.K. Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Stephen Lovegrove said, “From promoting peace to fighting terrorism, the special relationship between Britain and the U.S. is one built on shared values and years of cooperation. The U.S. is one of our closest allies and we hope to share another 60 years of defending peace and stability throughout the world during such uncertain times.”

DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty noted that “the MDA is a cornerstone of our nuclear deterrent, and it ensures the security of both the United States and United Kingdom. Time and again, the MDA has proven to be essential in our efforts to ensure that our nuclear weapons capabilities and nuclear propulsion plants are safe, reliable and effective. And through this agreement, we are able to support our nations’ objectives in broader arms control, nonproliferation, and nuclear security.”

“The Mutual Defence Agreement is crucial for global security and the safety of our two nations,” said Julian Kelly, U.K. Ministry of Defence Director General Nuclear. “Not only does the agreement allow us to work closely together, sharing skills and knowledge, it also allows us to ensure our nations, and our allies, remain ready for any eventuality we may face.”

Exchanges through the MDA benefit the United States and United Kingdom by advancing each nations’ mutual understanding of the safety, security, and reliability of their respective nuclear weapon stockpiles. This joint cooperation plays a critical role in the national security partnership between the United States and United Kingdom, to include strengthening nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts, designing nuclear reactors for the naval fleet, and ensuring the integrity and safety of each nation’s nuclear weapons.