Largest nuclear security center in Asia-Pacific opens in China

Published: March 18, 2016 at 2:27 PM

Elizabeth Shim

BEIJING, March 18 (UPI) -- China has opened the largest nuclear security center in the Asia-Pacific, a facility co-financed by the United States.

The China Atomic Energy Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy built the center, Xinhua reported.

China's new nuclear security Center of Excellence, or COE, also was built with Russian input, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Vice Premier Ma Kai and Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and top officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency, a U.N. agency, were in attendance at the opening ceremony.

The COE is responsible for China's domestic nuclear security training requirements, and provides a space for exchanging views on nuclear issues between states, according to the Department of Energy.

"This Center of Excellence is a world-class facility for Chinese, regional, and international nuclear security training and technical exchanges. The Department of Energy partnership with China on this effort has been exemplary and we look forward to continued engagement on nuclear security best practices," Moniz said.

China just unveiled a vital nuclear security training facility. Great to be at the opening:

— Ernest Moniz (@ErnestMoniz) March 18, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping had proposed the construction of the center during the Third Nuclear Security Summit in 2014 to promote a regional conversation on international nuclear security technology.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday the facility is the first nuclear security center equipped with advanced technologies that is also the "largest in Asia."

Xi is expected to attend the Fourth Nuclear Security Summit in late March in Washington, D.C.

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