New Zealand Increases Support to NNSA Effort to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Press Release
Apr 7, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that it will expand the ongoing partnership with New Zealand to help prevent nuclear terrorism around the world.  Under an agreement signed with NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program, New Zealand will provide $350,000 (US) for nuclear nonproliferation work in Kazakhstan.  The agreement was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her meeting with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

This is the second contribution from the Government of New Zealand to SLD's work in the former Soviet Union. The Government of New Zealand has also contributed to the Second Line of Defense project in Ukraine.  The agreement also includes provisions for the Government of New Zealand to make future contributions to SLD and NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) projects over the next six years. 

"We welcome New Zealand's generous and continued support," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino.  "This contribution reinforces the cooperation between our countries to strengthen global and national efforts to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive materials." 

International contributions, whether financial or in-kind, augment NNSA programs aimed at improving the capabilities of our international partners to detect, secure and dispose of dangerous nuclear and radiological material.  To date, NNSA has received support from New Zealand, Canada, Finland, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom to pursue nonproliferation efforts around the world, including:

  • More than $31 million to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia.
  • Nearly $12 million to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials located at civilian nuclear sites worldwide.
  • More than $10 million to strengthen security at international land borders, seaports and airports that may be used as smuggling routes for nuclear or radiological materials.

NNSA's Second Line of Defense Program works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated communications equipment.  The SLD Program also provides training to host government border guard officials and other personnel to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.  NNSA has installed similar equipment at over 230 sites around the world.

NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative works to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites worldwide.

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 in the nation's national security enterprise.  NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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.  For more information on NNSA's Second Line of Defense Program, click here.

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