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Published:February 17th, 2009 12:36 EST
NNSA Working To Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

NNSA Working To Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

By SOP newswire3

NNSA: Working To Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

The Department of Energy`s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which has unique expertise in nuclear weapons and nuclear material, plays a key role in the U.S. government`s comprehensive effort to combat terrorism. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NNSA has doubled spending on nuclear nonproliferation programs and has received nearly $45 million in contributions from seven countries. NNSA works with over 100 countries to fight against nuclear proliferation and terrorism, and has successfully completed the following:

Secured Nuclear Material and Warheads

  • As of December 31, 2008, completed security upgrades at 73 Russian nuclear warhead sites containing hundreds of warheads, including 39 Russian Navy nuclear sites, 25 Russian Strategic Rocket Forces sites, and nine 12th Main Directorate sites. 
  • Completed Material, Protection, Control & Accounting (MPC&A) upgrades to 180 buildings containing hundreds of metric tons of weapons-useable Russian nuclear material at 11 Russian Navy reactor fuel sites, seven Rosatom Weapons Complex sites, six civilian (non-Rosatom) sites, and 12 Rosatom civilian sites.
  • Completed the largest U.S.-Russian effort to secure weapon-grade nuclear material at the Mayak Production Association in Ozersk, Russia.
  • Completed MPC&A upgrades to 15 nuclear material buildings outside of Russia.
  • Returned 765 kilograms (enough for over 30 nuclear weapons) of Soviet-origin highly enriched uranium from vulnerable sites around the world.
  • Returned 1,200 kilograms (enough for over 45 nuclear weapons) of U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium.
  • Removed 146 kilograms (enough for over five nuclear weapons) of other highly enriched uranium and plutonium from vulnerable sites around the world.
  • Helped to eliminate Libya`s nuclear weapons program by removing 1.8 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride and over 500 metric tons of centrifuge components and related materials.
  • Led on-the-ground efforts to disable North Korea`s nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in support of the Six-Party Talks. 
  • Reached agreement with Russia on principles to sustain security upgrades after 2012, when Russia assumes full responsibility for security for its own sites.
  • Completed 83% of plans to provide safe and secure long-term storage for nearly three tons of weapons-grade plutonium and ten tons of HEU from the BN-350 reactor in Kazakhstan. Shut down two Russian weapons-grade plutonium production reactors early, thereby eliminating the production of sufficient weapons-grade plutonium for more than two weapons a week.
    " Continue to aggressively pursue closure of the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactor in Russia.

Protected Dirty Bomb " Material

  • Recovered more than 20,300  radioactive sources in the United States. 
  • Upgraded the physical security at 537 buildings around the world that contained vulnerable, high-risk nuclear and radioactive material. Removed or disposed of 423 Russian radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs) in a joint effort with Russia, Canada, Norway, France and Finland.  
  • Repacked and removed 550 MT of uranium and 4,000 curies of radiological sources from the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Complex in Iraq.

Safeguarded Research Reactors

  • Converted 57 research reactors around the world from operating on highly enriched uranium to running on low enriched uranium. 
  • Shut down, prior to conversion, six highly enriched uranium civilian research reactors. 
  • Provided security upgrades at 18 civilian research reactors worldwide.

Provided Security-Related Training

  • Trained over 250 foreign officials every year since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on how to physically protect nuclear material and facilities. 
  • Trained over 1,300 foreign officials on nuclear safeguards and infrastructure preparedness since 9/11.
  • Trained over 6,000 domestic and 11,000 international export control enforcement officials and industry representatives on strategic trade controls and identification of weapons of mass destruction-related goods since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Strengthened International Nonproliferation Regimes

  • Completed 123 Agreements " on nuclear cooperation with India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. 
  • Led a group of states to update physical protection guidelines in IAEA INFCIRC/225.

Prevented Nuclear Smuggling and Transfer of Nuclear Expertise

  • Emphasized long-term research efforts to develop improved technologies to detect weapons of mass destruction and nuclear proliferation around the world.
  • Completed Megaports radiation detection equipment installation at 19 ports and is at various stages of implementation at more than 20 additional ports around the world.  
  • Installed radiation detection equipment at 213 Second Line of Defense Core sites (land border crossings, airports, and sea ports) in Russia and six other countries of concern. 
  • Reached agreement with Russia to complete the installation of radiation detection equipment at all Russian border crossings (350 sites total) by 2011 (6 years ahead of schedule), building on the 160 crossings already equipped. 
  • Engaged thousands of former weapons scientists and engineers in the former Soviet Union, Libya and Iraq, helping redirect their talents to civilian pursuits while preventing the flow of WMD expertise to countries of proliferation concern and terrorist groups. 
  • Completed over 7,380 reviews of export license applications/requests related to material, technology and equipment of weapons of mass destruction concern in 2008.

Downblended or Disposed of Nuclear Material

  • Converted into low enriched uranium 11.1 metric tons of Russian excess non-weapons program highly enriched uranium.
  • Monitored the downblending of 352 metric tons (enough for 14,090 nuclear weapons) of Russian weapons-derived highly enriched uranium, which now provides 10 percent of U.S. electricity. 
  • Downblended nearly 105 metric tons (enough for approximately 2,305 nuclear weapons) of surplus U.S. highly enriched uranium into low enriched uranium for peaceful use as nuclear reactor fuel, with an additional 13 metric tons packaged and shipped for downblending (total of over 118 metric tons). 
  • Initiated downblending of the 17.4 metric tons of highly enriched uranium for the Reliable Fuel Supply Initiative, which will be used as an incentive to other countries to forego their own enrichment and reprocessing capabilities. 
  • Working to dispose of at least 68 metric tons (enough for 8,500 nuclear weapons) of U.S. and Russian weapons-grade plutonium by converting it into mixed-oxide fuel for commercial nuclear power reactors and also continues construction of the U.S. Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, which began in August 2007.

Maintained Leading Emergency Response Capabilities and Training
NNSA has robust emergency capabilities with some of the world`s top professional scientists, engineers, pilots, medical personnel, technicians and other leading nuclear experts.  Using extremely sophisticated laboratories and equipment, NNSA teams are ready to respond to and resolve nuclear and radiological terrorist incidents, including supporting other government agencies, and deploying search, analysis and medical teams.

  • NNSA has participated in 76 national and international exercises in 2008 to maintain its elite response standards.
  • NNSA deployed multiple field teams to conduct 34 high profile special events and 47 emergency responses around the world in support of the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of State.  These include State of the Union, Super Bowl, United Nations General Assembly, 2008 Beijing Olympics, Democratic and Republican Conventions, and numerous deployments and search operations.
  • NNSA worked with emergency response organizations in over 60 countries and 9 international organizations to address potential radiological emergencies and nuclear incidents.  The international cooperation involves technical exchanges, mutual training events, jointly conducted exercises and emergency management assistance.
  • NNSA completed the first-ever stabilization tool kit to enhance nuclear render safe capabilities.  Equipment, training and logistics were finalized for this first generation stabilization capability to be field tested in 2009.
  • Provided technical training on aerial radiation monitoring for police departments in the cities of Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Sheriff`s Department.

For more information on NNSA`s emergency response capabilities, click here.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs, 202-586-7371