WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently signed an agreement to begin a cooperative effort to deter, detect and interdict the illicit smuggling of special nuclear and other radiological materials. The agreement was signed by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Eda Rivas Franchini during a recent visit by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala to the United States.
“The signing of this agreement with Peru represents our shared commitment to important global nonproliferation efforts that will help to keep dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators,” said Secretary Moniz. “Peru plays a key role in the region’s maritime shipping and our cooperation will be a critical step forward in enhancing not only the security in the region but also that of the global maritime network.”
The agreement makes it possible for NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program to work with the Peruvian Nuclear Energy Institute (IPEN) and other agencies in Peru to install a radiation detection system at the high-priority Port of Callo. This specialized equipment is designed to scan cargo containers for dangerous nuclear and radiological materials. In addition to providing and installing equipment, NNSA will train Peruvian officials to use this equipment and will provide ongoing support for maintenance and sustainability.
NNSA’s SLD program works to strengthen the capabilities of partner countries to combat the illicit trafficking of special nuclear and other radiological materials at international border crossings and checkpoints. SLD accomplishes its mission by providing partner countries with radiation detection equipment, communications systems and training that will enable participating countries to respond effectively to radiation alarms. The program also provides partners with support to further develop their capability to operate and maintain these detections systems over the long-term. To date, SLD has equipped 500 sites in more than 50 countries with radiation detection equipment.
This agreement is an important part of NNSA’s layered approach to nuclear security cooperation with Peru. Other efforts include the provision of physical protection upgrades at sites with nuclear and radiological materials, the repatriation of U.S.-origin disused radiological sealed sources, and the development of national infrastructure to ensure sustainability.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, click here.
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.