The United Kingdom last week pledged $3.5 million towards three reduction operations in three nations. Funding will be directed to the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, which is managed by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. Assistance from the UK would fund radiological material security training in Afghanistan, improvements in protections around radiological substances in Belarus, and radiological and nuclear protection efforts in Uzbekistan.
Most importantly, the funding aims to assist gradual switching from foreign reactors that use highly enriched uranium to ones that run on lower enriched fuel, which is not suitable for use in nuclear weapons.
The NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington commented:
We welcome the U.K.’s longstanding and generous partnership with the NNSA’s nuclear non-proliferation programs. This contribution underscores the cooperation between our two countries to strengthen global efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world, prevent nuclear smuggling and keep dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists and proliferators.
The UK has now provided in excess of $26 million to NNSA programs like these.