43 Young Professionals Complete CNS-LLNL Nuclear Safeguards Policy Course

June 14, 2016

Forty-three outstanding graduate students and junior professionals successfully completed an intensive five-day course on international nuclear safeguards policy jointly conducted by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). This is the eighth consecutive year that CNS and LLNL have offered this course, which is sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the US Department of Energy as part of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative.

The course gives participants practical lessons in applying International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards that ensure compliance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, by which states agree to allow the IAEA to inspect facilities to ensure that no nuclear material is being diverted from peaceful purposes to use in nuclear weapons. The course provides important information and skills for those who may be considering a career in safeguards.

Since its inception, the course has gained popularity both domestically and internationally. In 2016, CNS received over eighty applications from United States, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Forty-three participants were selected for this year’s program. This year, domestic graduate students and junior professionals in attendance were from MIIS, University of Tennessee, National Defense University, Rutgers University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburg, University of California in Berkeley, Argonne National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Council on Foreign Relations, and other organizations. International participants included professionals and university instructors from Azerbaijan, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Moldova, and Pakistan. Course speakers included experts from CNS, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP), LLNL, IAEA and independent consultants.

The week-long course began with welcoming remarks by MIIS Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean Dr. Jeff Dayton-Johnson and CNS Director CNS Deputy Director Elena Sokova.

Participants benefited from a wide range of lectures, hands-on experience with radiation detection equipment and environmental sampling, and real-world cases studies. A key benefit of the course was the diversity of speakers and lecturers, who hailed from a wide range of specialties within the nuclear nonproliferation field. Lecture topics included the origins of international nuclear safeguards, evolution of international safeguards implementation and compliance, safeguards activities, tools and evaluation methods, and recent developments in international safeguards, including Iran and the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

At the conclusion of the course, six participants went on to paid summer internships at LLNL where they will each work on a safeguards-related project with an LLNL mentor.

CNS and LLNL anticipate holding the 2017 course June 5-9. Application procedures will be posted on the CNS website (www.nonproliferation.org) in fall 2016. Interested prospective candidates may contact Dr. George Moore ([email protected]) or Ms. Margarita Sevcik ([email protected]) for further details.

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