NNSA Achieves Major Milestone In Project to Thwart Nuclear Smuggling in Kazakhstan

Press Release
Jul 2, 2008
Eight Sites Equipped With Radiation Detection Equipment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee, in cooperation with the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), began operating eight new sites this week outfitted with radiation detection equipment on the Kazakhstan border.  The radiation detection systems, which were installed at seven border crossings and one training facility, will detect and deter the illicit smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.

"This milestone in Kazakhstan builds on NNSA's successful cooperation to stop the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials and WMD-related technology and components.  This partnership plays a critical role in the global fight against illicit trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.

Since 2006, NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program has worked with Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee to identify sites and install radiation detection equipment to improve Kazakhstan's overall radiation detection capabilities.  The completion of the eight sites is the first major milestone to be achieved under the joint project.

NNSA's SLD program provides detection systems around the world to help combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism.  SLD installs radiation detection equipment at strategic locations, and provides training in detection, identification, and interdiction of nuclear and radiological materials, as well as training in the operations and maintenance of the equipment.  The specialized radiation-detection technology is one part of the overall U.S. nuclear security program to guard against proliferation of weapons materials and plays a key role in the Bush administration's overall efforts in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material.

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.

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