United States-Japan Nuclear Security Working Group Fact Sheet

March, 2012


Since the announcement of establishing the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Security Working Group at the U.S.-Japan Summit meeting in November 2010, this Group has successfully fulfilled its responsibility to identify and coordinate tangible outcomes for the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit, including the promotion of robust security for nuclear materials at civilian nuclear facilities and during transport, by making achievements in the following 9 areas:

Goal 1: Co-operation within the Integrated Support Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN)

The ISCN was established under the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in December 2010 as the first of its kind in the region. Both parties effectively collaborated on the development and execution of the ISCN programs for strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security capacity mainly for Asian countries, including an inaugural Regional Training Course on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Facilities for participants from 16 countries in October 2011.

Goal 2: Research and Development of Nuclear Forensics, Measurement and Detection Technologies, and Sharing of Investigatory Best Practices

Both parties moved towards a common understanding of and information sharing in nuclear forensics, and had fruitful discussions on the requirements for and capabilities of nuclear forensics over the course of several workshops and meetings. Both parties initiated three technical cooperation projects on nuclear forensics to support joint R&D in nuclear material signatures such as uranium age dating measurements, and to establish parameters for a national nuclear forensics library.

Goal 3: Cooperation on Safeguards Implementation

Built upon a long history of significant cooperation on safeguards implementation, the JAEA and the Department of Energy (DOE) expanded the scope of cooperation by signing five new safeguards implementation projects of high priority for effective and enhanced safeguards, and began increased coordination and cooperation in the area of safeguards training. Both parties recognise that the Exchange of Notes between the US and Japan on 9 March 2012 setting out the terms and conditions of their cooperation in the fields of nuclear security and other areas will facilitate those projects.

Goal 4: Sharing Best Practices for Nuclear Security in New Facility Design

Both parties mutually visited Rokkasho and Savannah River to observe the construction sites of MOX fuel fabrication facilities. The JAEA and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) together are developing a draft Security-by-Design Handbook for third countries as a joint research project to identify best practices for incorporating security considerations early into the design process of new nuclear facilities.

Goal 5: Cooperation on Transport Security to Reduce the Chances of Theft or Sabotage

For the purpose of achieving mutual understanding of the structure of transport security and its implementation in line with international guideline INFCIRC/225/Rev.5, both parties will conduct a Table Top Exercise on Transport Security March 26 – 28 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Goal 6: Convert Reactors to Reduce the Use of HEU and Complete Down-Blending Operations

Both parties moved towards converting highly enriched uranium-fuelled research reactors where technically and economically feasible and the timely removal and disposal of nuclear materials from facilities no longer using them. In Japan, the JAEA is preparing to down-blend the HEU of the Yayoi reactor and that of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Kyoto University and the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory have continued to work together on the feasibility study for converting the Kyoto University Critical Assembly to the use of low-enriched uranium. There is steady progress working toward the shipment of Japan Materials Testing Reactor HEU fuel to the United States.

Goal 7: Implement INFCIRC / 225 / Rev.5

The ISCN effectively conducted both a domestic workshop and a regional workshop on INFCIRC/225/Rev.5 in cooperation with the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration and SNL, to help promote better understanding and implementation of the new nuclear security recommendations in the document. Both parties also support the development of Implementation Guides for INFCIRC/225/Rev.5 for eventual publication by the IAEA.

Goal 8: Integrating Response Forces into Dealing with Theft and Sabotage at Facilities

The US side had the opportunity to observe the integrated exercise with the joint participation of the police, the coastguard and operators held at the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and to conduct the force-on-force exercises workshop in Tokyo in December 2010. Likewise, the Japanese side had the opportunity to observe force-on-force exercises at Cooper Nuclear Station and participated in the workshop at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission headquarters in November 2011. Through these occasions, both sides exchanged views and ideas to enhance the mutual capacity of integrating response forces into dealing with theft and sabotage at facilities.

Goal 9: Joint Study on Management of HEU and Plutonium: Reduction of Material Attractiveness

Both parties have successfully collaborated to conduct a joint scientific study on material attractiveness and practical methods to reduce material attractiveness against terrorist threats. As the joint scientific report is being compiled, both parties will explore the possibility of further expanding the scope of cooperation.

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