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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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NNSA to Fund Nuke Readiness Research

The Obama administration has endorsed almost $3 million in aid for studies aimed largely at preventing and preparing for acts of aggression involving nuclear materials or systems, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration said on Thursday (see GSN, March 27).

Specialists from the United States and partner nations would cooperate in a majority of the initiatives to pursue objectives outlined at this year's Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, according to an NNSA press release. Financed efforts would also address issues relevant to the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, the Group of Eight Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540.

"The NNSA Strategic Plan calls for partnering with the international community to impede the spread of nuclear weapons technology, materials and information,” NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington said in a statement. “Our engagement of scientists around the world is an important tool in this international partnering effort. By leveraging our unique scientific knowledge and skills, we can advance our nuclear security agenda and directly support the international effort to fulfill the goals of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.”

The activities would receive funding through the NNSA Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention program and take place under the auspices of the International Science and Technology Center in Russia and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (see GSN, July 15, 2011).

In past gatherings, the two organizations backed plans underwritten by the NNSA program for a multilateral effort aimed at fighting atomic smuggling by building on existing nuclear forensics capacities and knowledge. The project would involve the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and scientific organizations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the U.S. nuclear agency said.

Another initiative seeks to catalog unique characteristics of various substances with uranium content.

More than 150 private firms have together granted in excess of $280 million in direct funding and other support for initiatives supported by the NNSA nonproliferation effort (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, July 26).

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