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NNSA Partners with Canada, Russia to Build Counterterrorism Training Center for the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense

January 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NNSA and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to support the establishment of a new counterterrorism center. The Abramovo Counterterrorism Training Center (ACTC), located in the city of Abramovo, will be used by the Russian Ministry of Defense (RF MOD) to train personnel for Russia’s nuclear sites in security tactics and measures. This will allow RF MOD to assure a new level of nuclear material protection against terrorist threats.

“The United States, Canada and Russia all recognize the critical need to ensure that the forces responsible for responding to emergency situations involving nuclear weapons and weapon-usable materials have the highest levels of training and preparedness,” said Anne Harrington, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. “This partnership between Canada, Russia, and the United States helps implement the international commitments made at last year’s Nuclear Security Summit and helps advance President Obama’s nuclear security agenda. Together, our nations are working to make the world a safer place.”

Creation of the ACTC includes constructing and equipping a new facility, renovations of existing buildings, and other infrastructure improvements. The central element of the ACTC will be the “Autodrome," – a road along which various terrorist events can be staged to challenge RF MOD personnel in realistic and dynamic nuclear weapons transport and response scenarios.

The ACTC will be a logical and integral component of the training system developed by RF MOD and unified for personnel of all military forces. The center will provide training for the Navy, Strategic Rocket Forces, and the 12th Main Directorate staff in the area of secure storage and transportation of nuclear weapons, and counterterrorism.

NNSA’s work at ACTC will be carried out by NNSA’s Office of International Materials Protection and Cooperation, which works in Russia and other countries to secure and eliminate weapon-usable material and develop sustainable infrastructure.

For more information on the NNSA’s IMPC program, click here.

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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.