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RICHLAND, Wash. - A new center being established in the Northwest signifies a growing role for the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in nuclear nonproliferation policy and research.
The laboratory has established a new adjunct organization, called the Pacific Northwest Center for Global Security, to coordinate nuclear nonproliferation programs, research and policy work within the lab and to involve organizations throughout the region, particularly universities and non-governmental organizations, in nonproliferation.
“The Pacific Northwest Center for Global Security symbolizes the lab’s commitment to nonproliferation, its important role in the Northwest and its vast resources available,” said Jim Fuller, who will serve as director. Fuller has worked at Pacific Northwest for 12 years and will retain his role as leader of its nonproliferation and national security sector.
Pacific Northwest’s nuclear nonproliferation and arms control program represents more than $100 million annually in ongoing research, including assisting with warhead dismantlement, diversifying economies of nuclear cities and improving safety near nuclear installations in Russia.
The Pacific Northwest Center for Global Security will be the hub of activity for the Northwest’s nonproliferation community. Its mission will include promoting collaboration among Northwest academic, private and non-governmental stakeholders for proliferation prevention and arms control policy.
Internally, researchers will have a better understanding of related work being done in the lab’s nonproliferation program, and managers will have greater assurance that projects are not duplicating efforts. Externally, business, academic and non-governmental organizations will have a single point of contact to learn about proliferation prevention and a single source for joint venture opportunities.
A major part of this effort will include a seminar series to increase interactions and strengthen relationships among government, academic and commercial sector leaders. Education efforts will include strategic planning workshops, newsletters and special issue workshops.
Pacific Northwest has a strong history and extensive experience in proliferation prevention work. Projects include:
• advising the Russian government on security improvements at weapons production facilities as part of DOE’s Materials, Protection, Control and Accountability Program;
• developing technology to detect evidence of nuclear explosions that will be installed worldwide to help verify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty;
• providing technical and policy expertise during the successful canning of more than 7,800 plutonium-bearing fuel rods in North Korea;
• improving safety at Soviet-designed nuclear plants in Russia and its federated states through the International Nuclear Safety Program, a $50 million-a-year program.
Pacific Northwest is one of DOE’s nine multiprogram national laboratories and conducts research in areas of environment, energy, health sciences and national security. Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, has operated Pacific Northwest since 1965.
Materials provided by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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