In response for to the diversification of energy resources, several Asian countries have currently considered nuclear power as an option. As a result, a dramatic increase on the use of nuclear material is foreseen; nuclear security and safeguards, as well as nuclear safety, will become more important in the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. For these reasons, the Nuclear Security and Safeguards Project (NSSP) started in 2011 within the framework of the FNCA, aims to cooperate with FNCA member countries to strengthen their respective infrastructures. The FNCA is a framework led by Japan’s Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) for international cooperation with neighboring Asian countries towards the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. The framework for FNCA cooperation consists of a Ministerial Level Meeting, Senior Officials Meeting, Coordinators Meeting, and a Study Panel. The participating 12 countries are Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Currently, 7 topical projects are being conducted with collaborative activities under equal partnership in various nuclear fields. Each project promotes joint research, discussions on common challenges, and information exchange. A workshop is held annually. Conversely, the Integrated Support Center for the Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has been providing assistance, specifically to Asian countries. Therefore, the ISCN has closely collaborated with the NSSP.
The objectives of the NSSP are to share experiences, knowledge, and information on nuclear security and safeguards implementation including human resource development (HRD) and research and development activities. In 2015, under the NSSP, a survey was conducted among FNCA member countries on future activities. At the 6th FNCA workshop in 2016, the results of the survey and the prospects for future activities were discussed. The following fields were selected for this project: 1) Nuclear Security: Nuclear forensics, cyber security, nuclear security culture, and security of radioactive sources. 2) Safeguards: Additional Protocol, others. 3) Common for security and safeguards: Capacity building under Centers of Excellence (COEs)). The 19th FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting (MLM) was held in Japan, on December 2018. The MLM Joint Communique reiterated and emphasized the FNCA’s objectives toward the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. The accomplishments of the NSSP activities have shown the importance and beneficial effects of the collaborative efforts among the FNCA member countries. This paper describes a 3-year plan and the outcome, and also challenges of the NSSP activities.