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IAEA Network Fosters International Cooperation That Strengthens Nuclear Security, Members Agree at Annual Meeting

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Participants watching a 3D demonstration in the virtual reality training room at Japan’s Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security. (Photo: JAEA/ISCN)

International cooperation such as that facilitated through the IAEA’s International Network for Nuclear Security Training and Support Centres (NSSC Network) is key to global nuclear security, participants in the network’s annual meeting agreed.

In discussions at the meeting held in March 2018 in Tokai, Japan, the 77 participants from 52 States and two observer organizations encouraged an expansion of the Network’s activities to include a programme of technical exchange visits during which national staff from existing and prospective Centres could learn from each other. The Centres are national institutions for nuclear security capacity building.

Such technical exchange visits would complement the NSSC Network’s other activities, such as meetings and working group discussions. The Network aims to strengthen the Centres’ efforts to share information, to identify and disseminate good practices and to facilitate cooperation.

The meeting was hosted by Japan’s Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN), which has been part of the NSSC Network since it was launched in 2012.

“International cooperation is essential for effectively strengthening capacity for nuclear security,” Seiichi Shimasaki, the Director of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Office for Radioactive Waste Management Policy and Office for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Science and Technology, told the meeting.  “It is important for ISCN to strengthen its capacity by collaborating with the international community.”

He added that ISCN contributed to closing other countries’ capability gaps by supporting training activities.

James Conner, an IAEA Nuclear Security Officer and the Network’s Scientific Secretary, said the national Centres connected by the NSSC Network can support competent authorities and other organizations in sustaining national nuclear security regimes. He encouraged meeting participants to use  the Network to enhance their understanding of how Centres can benefit States, and how States can support the Centres by identifying national needs through a structured and well-coordinated process.

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