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Norway Increases Support of NNSA Work to Combat Nuclear Smuggling

December 03, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Government of Norway announced today that they expanded their partnership to combat nuclear smuggling with a $500,000 contribution by Norway to support NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program work in Kazakhstan.

“We welcome Norway’s continued partnership and generous support as part of our common commitment to strengthen nuclear security worldwide,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “This latest contribution is evidence of our shared commitment to strengthen global efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material and impede the efforts of terrorists and proliferators to acquire dangerous radioactive materials.”

“Norway gives full support to the international efforts under the Global Initiative to Counter Nuclear Terrorism and is fully committed to the international work underway to prevent illicit proliferation of radioactive materials. The current project in Kazakhstan is crucial because it builds capacity in order for Kazakhstan to contribute to these efforts” said the Norwegian Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strømmen.

The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ contribution will be used for the installation of radiation detection equipment at the Almaty Airport.  The equipment will provide Kazakhstan with additional tools to detect, deter and interdict illicit trafficking in special nuclear and radioactive materials under NNSA’s SLD program.

The agreement facilitates cooperation between the Government of Norway and the United States as part of the G-8 Global Partnership. This is the Government of Norway’s second contribution to NNSA under the Global Partnership.  In 2009, the Government of Norway contributed $837,600 to support NNSA’s work in Kazakhstan.

NNSA has developed similar partnerships with Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom. The financial and in-kind contributions from international partners support NNSA’s nonproliferation efforts around the world, including:

  • More than $31 million to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia.
  • More than $17 million to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials located at civilian nuclear sites worldwide.
  • More than $11 million to strengthen NNSA’s Second Line of Defense.

The SLD program works with foreign governments at border crossings, airports and seaports to install specialized radiation detection equipment and train officials to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials that could be used to construct nuclear weapons or radiological dispersal devices.

For a fact sheet on NNSA’s SLD 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.