May 6th, 2006 03:50 EST
U.S. Works With Kazakhstan to Stop Nuclear and Radioactive Material Smuggling
WASHINGTON, DC – As part of the overall U.S. strategy to prevent nuclear and dangerous radiological materials from falling into the hands of terrorists, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan had been signed to create a partnership under the Second Line of Defense program.
U.S. Ambassador Ordway joined Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee Chairman Chairman Askar Shakirov in signing the accord. The agreement will pave the way for NNSA to work collaboratively with the Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee to install radiation detection equipment at strategic border crossings throughout Kazakhstan to identify and deter illicit nuclear or radiological materials.
“Establishing strong border security partnerships with willing partners such as Kazakhstan are critical to preventing the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive materials. The U.S. and Kazakhstan share a strong commitment to keeping nuclear weapons beyond the reach of terrorists,” Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said.
Under the agreement, NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program will work together with Kazakhstan officials to install radiation detection and integrated communications equipment and train law enforcement officials to detect nuclear or radiological material smuggled inside cargo.
The Second Line of Defense program is a worldwide initiative that uses detection and deterrence to minimize the risk of nuclear proliferation, illegal trafficking and terrorism. It works by installing radiation detection equipment and training personnel at strategic international border locations, airports and seaports.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.