Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Security
The office leads in the analysis and management of all aspects of peaceful nuclear cooperation, including the following: coordinating and negotiating nuclear cooperation agreements; leading USG efforts in bilateral dialogues involving Joint Standing Committees on Nuclear Cooperation with other countries; and providing technical advice and recommendations on sensitive fuel cycle developments, in particular with regard to IAEA. In addition, NESS staff advises U.S. delegations to the IAEA and other international bodies on nuclear energy issues, including leading efforts to strengthen the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the Waste Management Convention, coordination of bilateral and multilateral efforts to improve the security of high-risk radioactive material usable in a dirty bomb, and the development and promotion of the first international framework for radioactive source export controls. NESS also works closely with the Department of Energy on U.S. government efforts to minimize the use of highly enriched uranium in civilian applications, including converting HEU-fueled research reactors and isotope production processes to low enriched uranium, international aspects of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactor program, and the secure transport repatriation, and disposition of HEU and plutonium.
NESS is responsible for nuclear and radioactive material safety. The office develops, coordinates, and promotes U.S. government nuclear safety policies within various international fora, including the IAEA and the G-8 Nuclear Safety and Security Group. NESS works closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development and international partners to convert the Chornobyl site to a stable and environmentally safe condition. The office also coordinates interagency efforts to implement the Convention on Nuclear Safety, secures ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, and oversees U.S. government technical nuclear safety assistance abroad.