NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty delivered the keynote speech for a virtual gathering of minds dedicated to the cause of nonproliferation last week at the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management’s (INMM) Annual Meeting.
Stressing the need for cooperation both inside the government and with outside groups, she noted that, “By sharing information and keeping our posture relevant to today’s technological and market trends, we can make the work of proliferators and terrorists much more difficult.”
By sharing information and keeping our posture relevant to today’s technological and market trends, we can make the work of proliferators and terrorists much more difficult.
INMM is dedicated to the safe, secure, and effective stewardship of nuclear materials and related technologies through the advancement of scientific knowledge, technical skills, policy dialogue, professional capabilities, and best practices. Its annual meeting attracts a diverse audience inside and outside the Nuclear Security Enterprise who attend presentations on topics related to nuclear materials management. This year’s meeting, held July 12-16, was entirely virtual in response to challenges posed by the global pandemic. NNSA and its labs had many employees participating in the event, ranging from moderating panels to presenting papers.
During her remarks, the Administrator expressed her commitment to the safe, secure, and effective management of U.S. nuclear assets and affirmed the U.S. commitment to working with international partners to improve nuclear materials management practices across the globe.
“Just as working together across public-private and international partnerships is key to overcoming and recovering from the COVID-19 crisis and strategic trade controls, it is also critical to solving the difficult challenges associated with nuclear materials monitoring,” she said. “That is why we have partnered with more than 100 agencies, in over 70 countries, on six continents to prevent nuclear smuggling.”
In recognizing the progress made on so many nonproliferation fronts over the last 10 years – nuclear materials management being one of them – Gordon-Hagerty suggested there is still much more work to be done. She touched on eliminating excess special nuclear material in civilian applications; the role of technology in nuclear security, physical protection, and safeguards; and the vital importance of international cooperation in securing or eliminating vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide. She lauded the International Atomic Energy Agency and promoted the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials.
The Administrator closed by emphasizing the importance of peaceful nuclear energy applications and reaffirmed support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – known as the NPT Treaty, which has been a cornerstone of the global nonproliferation regime for nearly 50 years.
“The United States and NNSA continue to strongly support the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and associated initiatives,” she said. “When harnessed peacefully, nuclear energy can help overcome obstacles to raising the standards of living across the world and improving the human condition.”