The Argentina – United States Joint Standing Committee on Nuclear Energy Cooperation (JSCNEC) met in Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba Province, Argentina, on August 22-26, 2016. The Committee met to advance the commitments made by Presidents Mauricio Macri and Barack Obama underlining the importance of the JSCNEC in enhancing civil nuclear cooperation in safety and research and development. The Presidents also committed to continue working, collaborating, and cooperating in nuclear security at all levels both bilaterally and multilaterally.
The Committee welcomed comments by Foreign Affairs Minister Susana Malcorra and Secretary of State John Kerry during their August 4, 2016, bilateral meeting highlighting the importance of JSCNEC in advancing civil nuclear cooperation. At the same time, the Committee recalled comments by Minister of Energy and Mining Juan José Aranguren and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on the importance of bilateral cooperation on nuclear energy issues made at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC.
During the Committee meeting, both sides discussed international nuclear security and nonproliferation, nuclear power, safety and their respective cooperation programs with other countries and with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They shared policy and technical briefings related to their respective nuclear programs including nuclear power, research and development, nuclear regulatory issues, nuclear security and development and application of nuclear safeguards.
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and the Ministry of Energy and Mining expect to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear and Radiological Security at the upcoming IAEA General Conference. On the margins of JSCNEC, NNSA and Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Argentina formally signed an Action Sheet to conduct a workshop by mid-2017 on the security of nuclear and radiological material in transport.
In order to address the commitments made during the meeting of Presidents Obama and Macri, the JSCNEC intends to explore possible further cooperation in:
- Nuclear Energy Topics
- Life extension and material degradation investigations for nuclear reactors
- Management and disposal of spent fuels and radioactive waste
- Advanced fuel research and development
- Regulatory Topics
- Digital control systems
- Age-related materials degradation
- Use of probabilistic safety assessment to identify areas of safety focus
- Regulatory practices with regard to interim storage of spent nuclear fuel
- Licensing issues unique to small modular reactors through mutual participation in international regulatory forums
- Enhancing the safe and secure use of radioactive sources
- Renewal of agreements for continued cooperation on computer codes for reactor safety evaluations