U.S. and Jordan Sign Agreement to Prevent Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Material

Press Release
Dec 16, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan signed an agreement in Amman today to begin a cooperative effort to detect, deter, and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material.

The agreement provides a foundation for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to cooperate with the Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNRC) and other government agencies to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Aqaba and at selected land border crossings.  In addition to providing equipment and related infrastructure, NNSA will also train Jordanian officials on the use of the equipment and provide for maintenance of the equipment for a specified period.

"The United States and Jordan have signed an agreement today that will enhance Jordan's ability to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and radiological material by expanding its detection systems to include airports, seaports, and land border crossings," said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.  "We are pleased to count Jordan among our partners in the global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism and proliferation."

NNSA has ongoing efforts in various countries in the Middle East where we are working to expand and strengthen Second Line of Defense capabilities by installing detection equipment at border crossings, airports, and sea ports throughout the region.

The work will be performed by NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program, which works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated communications equipment.  The SLD program also provides training to host government border guard officials and other personnel to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.  NNSA has installed similar equipment at over 230 sites around the world.

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.

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