Announcement

Reducing the threat of proliferation

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Government has published a report detailing progress made in the last year on reducing the worldwide threat from proliferation of dangerous nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical materials and expertise.

Speaking about the “Global Threat Reduction Programme” annual report the Foreign Office Minister for Counter Proliferation Alistair Burt said:

“Counter-proliferation is vital for international security, and it is important that the world is united in tackling this shared threat.

“The Global Threat Reduction Programme works to address and reduce the risk of terrorists acquiring chemical, biological, nuclear, or radiological materials. We work closely with international partners on this.

“UK successes over the past year include working collaboratively to ensure safe storage of spent nuclear fuel in a number of sites across the former Soviet Union. At this week’s International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, the UK announced we will contribute £4M to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund for 2011-13. This will further support global nuclear security”.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Completion of a major joint US-UK-Kazakhstan project to transfer spent nuclear fuel from the decommissioned plutonium-producing BN-350 nuclear power plant at Aktau to a safe and secure storage at Semipalatinsk.
  • Completion of the UK’s largest physical protection project to date delivered in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency, providing security improvements to the Armenian nuclear power plant.
  • The establishment of tapered sustainability support for previously completed nuclear security infrastructure projects in Russia, and completion of a further such project within the Global Threat Reduction Programme’s Nuclear Security Programme.
  • Development of the Global Threat Reduction Programme’s Nuclear Security Workshop, which has gained the International Atomic Energy Agency endorsement and was delivered overseas for first time.
  • Moving into the final phase of the Closed Nuclear Cities/Centres Partnership scientist redirection programme, which remains on track to meet all objectives by its planned closure date in 2012.
  • Completion of milestones in the shielding of radioactive material and construction of new facilities at the spent nuclear fuel storage facility at Andreeva Bay in North West Russia.
  • Continued contributions to improved safety and security by the Global Threat Reduction Programme’s biological non-proliferation programme, primarily in Georgia and Tajikistan.