NNSA and FBI Strengthen Partnership with Slovakia to Prevent Illicit Movement of WMD Materials

Press Release
Feb 16, 2010

NNSA and FBI Strengthen Partnership with Slovakia to Prevent Illicit Movement of WMD Materials

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate, in cooperation with representatives from relevant Slovakian ministries and agencies, today announced the successful conclusion of a week-long training session aimed at thwarting nuclear smuggling and preventing the illicit movement of nuclear and radioactive materials.

"Slovakia and the United States have been working closely together for many years to stop nuclear smuggling.  This partnership plays a critical role in the global fight against the illicit trafficking of nuclear material and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "We will continue to strengthen our cooperation through this innovative training as we work to meet the goals of the President's nuclear security agenda."

NNSA and FBI have jointly developed a comprehensive training curriculum that incorporates both the radiation detection and law enforcement aspects of interdicting illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials.  The curriculum is designed around the use of fixed and mobile radiation detection equipment.  As a strong NNSA partner, Slovakian counterparts are participating in one of the first offerings of this new NNSA/FBI training.  The training consists of both instructional activities and realistic practical exercises that incorporate installed radiation portal monitors, vans equipped with detection equipment, other portable radiation detection equipment, and law enforcement and investigative tools. 

Under a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Customs Directorate, NNSA's Second Line of Defense program (SLD) has provided the Slovak Customs Directorate with fixed, mobile and handheld radiation detection equipment, related communications equipment, and training at five border crossings.  Using a cost-sharing approach, the Customs Directorate funded and performed equipment installation, while U.S. contractors provided designs, advice and limited oversight.

NNSA's SLD program works with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports, and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and train officials to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.  Similar equipment has been installed at more than 300 sites around the world, including sites in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.  

A fact sheet on NNSA's SLD program is available online.

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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.

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NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371