The UK Government has made significant progress in reducing the global threat from terrorist use of dangerous nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical materials and expertise, according to a report published today.
This follows the announcement last week by the Prime Minister of our continued support for the renewal of the G8 Global Partnership beyond 2012 with an increased focus on nuclear and biological security.
The Annual Report on the UK’s Global Threat Reduction Programme, which forms a core part of the UK’s counter-proliferation strategy, details the work that is being done to prevent the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction.
Lord Hunt, Minister of State for Energy said:
“We must do all we can to secure nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological materials to ensure that they do not threaten global security.
“I’m pleased we’re making substantial progress with this crucial work in Russia and the Former Soviet Union.”
Bill Rammell, Minister of State for the Armed Forces said:
“The Ministry of Defence has now virtually completed its programme of assistance to Russia with Chemical Weapons Destruction. I am pleased that this important cross-Government programme is continuing to deliver impressive results and improve our national security.”
Ivan Lewis, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office said:
“Counter-proliferation plays an important part of UK work overseas to secure a safer world. The Global Threat Reduction Programme has been very successful over past years by undertaking work in a number of countries to reduce the threats we face from weapons and materials of mass destruction. I look forward to the continued success of the GTRP and its efforts globally to reduce the threat.”
Highlights from the report include:
- A doubling of the UK’s contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Security Fund to £4m - supporting high priority nuclear security infrastructure improvement projects and training activities.
- Completion of the UK assistance programme at the chemical weapons destruction facility at Shchuch’ye in Russia, where more than 1100 tonnes of lethal nerve agent has been destroyed.
- Completion, in partnership with Norway, of the UK’s fourth and final nuclear submarine dismantlement in North West Russia.
- Creation of more than 1300 jobs for former Soviet nuclear weapons scientists and support personnel in business and manufacturing.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The UK Global Threat Reduction Programme 2009 Annual Report is available online at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/nuclear/nonprolif/global_threat/reports/reports.aspx
- The report reviews the UK's progress over the past year in establishing, implementing and completing a substantial portfolio of projects and programmes - mainly in the Russian Federation and other Former Soviet Union countries, to help tackle nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological security threats.
- The UK’s Global Threat Reduction Programme delivers the UK contribution to the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction Programme, a $20b ten year programme agreed at the G8 Summit at Kananaskis, Canada in 2002 with an initial focus on addressing the Cold war nuclear, chemical and biological legacies in Russia.
- At Kananaskis, the UK committed up to $750 million over ten years to fund projects in pursuit of the Partnership's aims.
- Further details about the UK programme and projects can be found at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/nuclear/nonprolif/global_threat/annual_report/annual_report.aspx
- The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is responsible for implementing the nuclear and radiological elements of the UK Government's Global Threat Reduction Programme. The Ministry of Defence is responsible for implementing the chemical and biological elements. The Global Threat Reduction Programme is overseen by a UK Ministerial Oversight Board led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
- The UK’s Closed Nuclear Cities/Centres Partnership programme aims to create 3,000 sustainable jobs for former Soviet nuclear weapons scientists and support personnel by 2012.
- The Prime Minister, in his speech at the Foreign Press Association on 19 March, demonstrated the UK’s commitment to playing a central role in the global response to CBRN terrorism by announcing our support for the renewal of the G8 Global Partnership beyond 2012 with an increased focus on nuclear and biological security. The full text is available here - http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22876