U.S., Canada sign MOU on safeguards and nonproliferation

Brent Park, the NNSA’s deputy administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Richard Sexton (on screen), president and chief executive officer of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, show the signed agreement. Photo: NNSA

The United States and Canada have signed a memorandum of understanding—Cooperation and Exchange of Information in Nuclear Security, Safeguards, and Nonproliferation Matters—to enable a more effective collaboration between the two countries in the areas of nuclear safety and security.

The five-year agreement was signed virtually on October 16 by Brent Park, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s deputy administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and two Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) executives: Richard Sexton, president and chief executive officer, and Shannon Quinn, vice president of Science, Technology, and Commercial Oversight.

Shellenberger: Stop the war on nuclear

Shellenberger

U.S. civil nuclear cooperation pacts—so-called 123 Agreements—are too strict, says Michael Shellenberger, founder and president of Environmental Progress, in an August 13 City Journal article.

Shellenberger reasons that the 123 Agreements force nations that have expressed interest in developing nuclear energy programs to turn to Russia and China. That result is bad, Shellenberger continues, not only for the American nuclear industry, but also for the global nonproliferation movement.

NTI assessment shows little progress in nuclear security

The Nuclear Threat Initiative’s 2020 NTI Nuclear Security Index, released last week, finds that progress on the protection of nuclear materials and facilities has slowed significantly over the past two years, reversing a trend of substantial improvements between 2012 and 2018.

Published biennially since 2012, the NTI index assesses and tracks nuclear security conditions in countries around the globe, highlighting progress and trends over time. It is produced in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of the Economist Group media company.

Nuclear watchdog leader rebukes Iran for lack of full cooperation

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, called on Iran on March 9 to cooperate immediately and fully with the IAEA and to provide prompt access to locations that it has refused to let agency inspectors visit. “The agency has identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations that have not been declared by Iran,” Grossi said in his first address to the IAEA’s Board of Governors since being named director general in December.