October 25th, 2007 02:35 EST
U.S. and Mongolia Sign MOU to Increase Cooperation in Preventing Nuclear Smuggling
WASHINGTON, DC - Today the governments of the United States and Mongolia strengthened their efforts in the fight against nuclear terrorism. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell and Mongolia’s Minister of Finance Nadmid Bayartsaikhan signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will kick off cooperation between the two countries to prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material.
“This Agreement signed today solidifies the United States and Mongolia’s commitment to promote our joint security and nonproliferation goals,” Deputy Secretary Sell said. “This initiative builds on our ongoing cooperation to advance detection capabilities by deploying advanced technologies that will help reduce the threat of illegal shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials into our countries.”
Under the agreement, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will install radiation detection equipment at several of Mongolia’s border crossings and at the Chinggis Khan International Airport in Ulaanbaatar. NNSA plans to install radiation portal monitors on Mongolia’s main border crossings to detect nuclear and radiological radiation coming from vehicles, pedestrians, and railroad cars.
Through its Second Line of Defense program, NNSA works collaboratively with foreign partners to equip border crossings, airports and seaports with radiation detection equipment and to provide training so that the host government can assume operational responsibility for the equipment. To date, the program has equipped over 160 sites.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized 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 United States and abroad. For more information, visit the National Nuclear Security Administration homepage.
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