National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA joins partner countries for first-ever international symposium on securely transporting nuclear and radioactive materials

November 22, 2019

You are here

Representatives from more than 30 countries came together in Tokyo to discuss the safety and security of radioactive material in transit.
Representatives from more than 30 countries came together in Tokyo to discuss the safety and security of radioactive material in transit.

Representatives from NNSA joined more than 30 partner countries in Tokyo last week for the first International Transportation Security Symposium for nuclear and radioactive materials. It was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan with support from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security.

Leaders from governments, industry, academia, and civil society gathered to discuss the complex and unique risks surrounding the transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials. Moving these materials poses a special security challenge because of their vulnerability during shipment.

Thwarting terrorism is one of our primary missions, and a key way we do so is by achieving mutual understanding at meetings with partners.

Art Atkins
NNSA's Assistant Deputy Administrator for Global Material Security

“NNSA joins with the IAEA and its members around the world in a commitment to improving the security of nuclear and other radioactive materials in transit,” said Art Atkins, Assistant Deputy Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Global Material Security, who provided opening remarks at the symposium. “Thwarting terrorism is one of our primary missions, and a key way we do so is by achieving mutual understanding at meetings with partners.”

In 2016, the United States reinforced its commitment to transportation security when it joined 14 other countries in subscribing to Japan’s Joint Statement on Transport Security of Nuclear Materials, now known as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Information Circular 909. Since 2016, two additional countries have subscribed for a total of 17 subscribers. The circular calls on countries to support the IAEA and counter the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism by developing solutions and training to mitigate the risks involved with moving nuclear and radioactive material.

The symposium brought the international community together to seek solutions to mitigate transportation security risks and strengthen international security regimes. A schedule of future related events will be presented during the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security (ICONS) in February.

NNSA contributes a broad range of experience, expertise, and tools to support partners in developing national comprehensive programs to prevent the theft of nuclear and radioactive material during transport both domestically and abroad.

Learn more about NNSA’s nonproliferation missions.