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Be it natural dyes, The pioneering work of organisations such as SEWA, December 1999Federal grand jury indicts Wen Ho Lee,C. and former secretary of the US Department of Energy (DOE) The process strengthened a bond that is quietly developing between nuclear scientists in the United States and China "It’s very important for building trust" says Hui Zhang a nuclear policy analyst at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University In 1999 relations between Chinese and US nuclear scientists entered a tailspin after the US Congress in a high-profile report accused China of stealing nuclear weapons secrets from DOE’s national laboratories China denied the allegations and US nonproliferation experts cast doubt on them Nevertheless the accusations torpedoed a nascent technical exchange program between US and Chinese weapons scientists But now even as the two countries are embroiled in trade disputes and tensions over the South China Sea and North Korea’s nuclear program collaborations between their nuclear scientists are intensifying Last year China opened a Center of Excellence (COE) in nuclear security in Beijing that’s filled with top-of-the-line instrumentation for combatting nuclear smuggling and terrorism; Chinese and US physicists work together there to hone measures for protecting nuclear facilities and analyzing interdicted nuclear materials Under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal US and Chinese scientists are helping counterparts in Iran reconfigure a heavy water reactor in Arak so it can no longer produce significant quantities of plutonium And the research reactor conversions will continue Next up is an MNSR in Nigeria in spring 2018 followed by reactors in Iran Pakistan and—when conditions permit—Syria The MNSR conversions "show real leadership on the part of the Chinese" says David Huizenga acting deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in Washington DC They are part of a "very important partnership" in nuclear security he says in which something unthinkable only a few years ago is taking place: Chinese and US weapons scientists are finding ways to work together Special deliveryA “rabbit” system usingpneumatic tubes shootssamples from a neighboringroom to the reactorwhere they are bombardedwith neutrons Belly of the beastGhana’s MNSR now runs onlow-enriched uranium insteadof weapons-grade uraniumThe reactor’s beryllium sheathreflects neutrons back toward thecore to increase the fission rate Going deepThe core about thesize of a gallon paintcan contains 338 pinsof fuel and 12 dummypins The reactor sitsat the bottom of a6-meter pool of water Making a safe reactor saferChina’s miniature neutron source reactor (MNSR) is a low-power neutron source for probing theisotopic composition of materials Designers say it is “inherently safe”—unable to melt downeven if its single control rod were removed With that brake off and the core heating up the uraniumatoms inside the fuel pins would jiggle faster That would reduce the reactor power by makinguranium-238 atoms more likely to soak up neutrons without fissioning Fuel cage . Beryllium Core V Altounian/Science Early in the Cold War China’s nuclear program was to the West a black box Its leaders trained in the United States and United Kingdom before World War II but the Soviet Union provided critical materials and technical help in the late 1950s By 1960 Sino-Soviet relations were fraying but China’s program was well underway; it detonated its first atomic bomb in 1964 As relations between China and the United States warmed in the 1980s and the two nations saw the Soviet Union as a common adversary their nuclear scientists started a wary pas de deux including low-profile visits to each other’s atomic labs Those initial interactions laid the groundwork for the US-China Arms Control Technical Exchange Program (ACE) launched in 1994 to bring together nuclear scientists from the three chief US weapon labs—Los Alamos National Laboratory Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories—and their singular counterpart: the China Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) in Mianyang in southwestern China The early 1990s were a "huge transition" for China’s nuclear scientists says Nancy Hayden an international security expert at Sandia in Albuquerque New Mexico who took part in the initial exchanges After China signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1992 she says CAEP’s privileged but cloistered scientists "suddenly found themselves thrust into roles they had no idea how to fulfill" such as verifying treaty compliance bringing fissile material safeguards up to international standards and even helping China develop nuclear power "They were eager to soak up whatever knowledge we could share" Hayden says Obstacles loomed including the legacy of China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s "There was a whole generation of scientists missing" says Hayden who recalls a group split between researchers older than 60 with "deep experience" and neophytes under 30 And when the US side insisted on "transparency" she says the Chinese recoiled For them Hayden explains "transparency" recalled the requirement during the Cultural Revolution to pen "self confessions" and "rat on their families to authorities" Yet the interactions proved priceless "This was the only window onto that community Just building a relationship was a major outcome" Hayden says In workshops in 1997–98 the United States and China began collaborating on controlling nuclear exports and on technologies for managing fissile materials and verifying compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (which neither country has ratified) Then it all came to a halt Even as ACE was building bridges other parts of the US government were probing allegations of Chinese nuclear espionage In May 1999 a US House of Representatives committee chaired by Christopher Cox (R-CA) released a public summary of key claims from its classified report from that January Among the headline-grabbing findings the Cox report alleged that China had stolen design information on advanced US hydrogen bombs and on a neutron bomb that was never deployed The report blamed the thefts on a 20-year-long program of espionage—and on the exchanges which had given China "extensive interactions with scientists" at Los Alamos and Sandia in New Mexico and Livermore in California and at a fourth national lab Oak Ridge in Tennessee China maintained that its nuclear weapons R&D relied on homegrown expertise and technology And in a critique released at the end of 1999 four experts at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation in Palo Alto California eviscerated the Cox report’s major findings "There is no evidence presented in any report that Chinese scientific visitors have abused their privilege in visiting the United States" the Stanford quartet wrote "There is a lot of stuff in the Cox report that just ain’t so" says Matthew Bunn an expert on nuclear proliferation at the Belfer Center "Whatever may have happened with respect to espionage I don’t think it had anything to do with the lab-to-lab cooperation" The US government thought it had nabbed one spy: Wen Ho Lee a Taiwanese-American physicist at Los Alamos whose work included simulating nuclear blasts In December 1999 a federal grand jury indicted Lee on 59 counts of stealing nuclear secrets on China’s behalf He spent the next 9 months in solitary confinement—as the case against him unraveled In September 2000 Lee pleaded guilty to one count of "illegal retention" of defense information In a humbling climb-down the government dropped the other 58 counts and Lee successfully sued for damages A zigzagging road to nuclear cooperation China’s nuclear program was largely a black box to the United States until warmer ties brought together nuclear scientists from the two countries in the mid-1990s Spying allegations froze scientific exchanges for years But China and the United States have lately found common cause in combating nuclear smuggling and terrorism 1960 1965 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2010 2005 2015 2017 October 1964China conducts its first nuclear weapon test announces policy of no first use in event of conflict January 1983A Central Intelligence Agency report details China’s support for Pakistan’s nuclear program 1984China builds prototype miniature neutron source reactor (MNSR) 1995Ghana’s MNSR comes online 1995First collaborations between US and Chinese nuclear weapons scientists under the Arms Control Technical Exchange Program October 1997President Bill Clinton certifies that China is not exporting nuclear technology to nonnuclear nations May 1999US House of Representatives releases its Cox report alleging vast Chinese espionage against the United States including theft of nuclear secrets; Arms Control program shut down April 2010At the first Nuclear Security Summit China and United States agree to establish a joint Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security March 2016China-US Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security opens in Beijing July 2017Chinese US,” said Bob Preger of Incline Village, One of them was Musk’s ex-wife.