WASHINGTON DC -- The U.S. and Latvian governments will coordinate efforts to thwart nuclear smuggling by installing radiation detection equipment at multiple border crossings in Latvia. The agreement signed today means the two countries will work together to detect illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material.
The agreement, signed by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Latvia, will allow NNSA to install radiation detection and integrated communications equipment, and provide related training at multiple border crossings, airports and seaports in Latvia. U.S. technical experts have begun working with the State Border Guard Service of Latvia by surveying sites for future equipment installations.
"The United States and Latvia will work closely to keep dangerous nuclear and radiological material out of the hands of terrorists and criminals," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.
NNSA's successful Second Line of Defense (SLD) program is performing the work with Latvia and provides detection systems around the world to help combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism. SLD installs radiation detection equipment at strategic locations and provides training in detection, identification, and interdiction of nuclear and radiological materials, as well as training in the operations and maintenance of the equipment.
The specialized radiation-detection technology is part of the overall U.S. nuclear security program to guard against proliferation of weapons materials. It directly supports the Bush administration's priorities of combating terrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
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.
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