CHENGDU, CHINA – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and China National Energy Administration (NEA) Director General Liu Baohua co-chaired the 10th Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology (PUNT) Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) meeting May 6-7 in Chengdu, China.
Since 2002, the United States and China have held periodic joint meetings on their cooperative activities under the U.S.-China PUNT Agreement. The agreement is a formal government-to-government mechanism established to support the civilian development of nuclear energy in both countries while addressing nuclear security, safety and proliferation risks.
Highlighting the first day of meetings were reports on the progress achieved in five PUNT working groups:
- nuclear energy technologies;
- nuclear safeguards and security;
- environment and nuclear waste management;
- nuclear emergency management; and
- radioactive source security.
There was general agreement on the need to strengthen technical collaboration across all areas. In addition, new areas for potential cooperation were discussed.
“The significance of this 10th PUNT JCC meeting is not the meeting itself, but the growth of U.S.-China cooperation, which has been evident since the first JCC meeting in 2002.” said Deputy Administrator Harrington. “It is important that we are continuing to explore new areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. The sophistication of the topics being studied also is growing, which signals our mutual commitment to work together on the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear technology.”
The meeting included interagency participants from both countries, who meet annually to manage and oversee bilateral technical cooperation pursued under the U.S.-China PUNT Agreement. U.S. agencies supporting and participating in PUNT meetings include:
- Department of Energy’s Offices of Nuclear Energy and Environmental Management;
- DOE National Laboratories;
- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and
- Departments of State and Commerce.
NEA leads U.S.-China PUNT discussions for the People’s Republic of China and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the China Atomic Energy Authority and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.