WASHINGTON, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Executives representing the global nuclear industry today presented 2016 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) dignitaries with the Joint Statement of the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit on commitments made this week to strengthen security of commercial nuclear materials and facilities. The statement reflects international consensus on ways to strengthen cybersecurity; enhance protection of materials during their use, transport and storage; and improve overall governance of nuclear technologies in medicine, electricity production and other commercial applications that benefit billions of people around the world.
The joint statement was finalized as part of the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit (NIS 2016) being held today and tomorrow in Washington, D.C. The conference is an official side event of the Nuclear Security Summit, which has attracted more than 50 heads of state and four international organizations to discuss intergovernmental policies in global nuclear security. These policies include preventing the diversion of nuclear materials for illicit purposes and safeguarding against terrorism.
"The participants (at the industry summit) acknowledge their individual responsibilities for implementing effective security arrangements within national regulatory frameworks and reaffirm their commitment to work together in a cooperative manner … to continuously improve security as well as safety performance," the joint communique states.
More than 350 nuclear industry leaders from around the world are attending the Nuclear Industry Summit, coordinated by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy organization for the U.S. nuclear energy industry. NEI President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin Fertel presented the joint statement to the Nuclear Security Summit along with John Barrett, president of the Canadian Nuclear Association, and Anno Keizer, manager of security for Urenco, an international supplier of uranium enrichment services.
"The progress we have witnessed is real," Fertel said. "The industry remains committed to working together to continue to improve the safety and security of nuclear technology, sustain a balanced energy supply, protect our environment and improve the quality of life for billions of people around the world."
Participants at the industry summit—the fourth such gathering as a side event of the Nuclear Security Summits first convened by President Obama in 2010—reaffirmed prior industry commitments and identified enhancements in these key areas:
- effectively securing all nuclear and radiological materials in industrial facilities and applications
- continuously improving nuclear security practices, in part via peer reviews and training programs conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Nuclear Association and the World Institute for Nuclear Security
- moving from a culture of regulatory compliance for cybersecurity to a culture of excellence in protection against this threat
- enhancing security culture for management and personnel with accountability for nuclear security
- enhancing radiological security by converting applications using high-activity radiological sources where technologically and economically feasible to alternative technologies.
"Nuclear technology and materials provide a vital contribution to modern society, as do the radiological sources through their application in medicine, agriculture, industry, research and other fields," the communique notes. "Nuclear power provides 12 percent of the world's electricity and has one of the smallest carbon footprints of any major energy source. Tens of millions of patients are treated with nuclear medicine each year and 90 percent of these support clinical diagnosis.
"Continued public confidence is essential for the application of nuclear technology and the extensive benefits that it brings. NIS participants commit to enhance public and stakeholder confidence through high standards of transparency, integrity, ethical behavior and social responsibility."
Previous nuclear summits in 2010, 2012 and 2014 resulted in the removal of highly enriched uranium from 29 countries, plus Taiwan, and two dozen nuclear facilities, increasing security at nuclear storage sites around the world and creating new teams to detect nuclear smuggling networks.
Heads of state, industries and individuals who have made exemplary strides in advancing the security and safety of nuclear materials will be recognized at a joint awards ceremony on March 31.
Additionally, the 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit Expo will be held from March 31-April 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, site of this week's Nuclear Security Summit. The expo features exhibits from more than 60 participating nations, companies and organizations.
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SOURCE 2016 Nuclear Industry Summit