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U.S. and Thailand Conduct First Training Workshop to Combat Nuclear Proliferation

October 20, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA) announced today the completion of the first-ever “Pilot
Weapons of Mass Destruction Commodity Identification Training” (WMD-CIT)
workshop at the RTC Academy in Bangkok with Royal Thai Customs (RTC) and the
Royal Thai Government. Conducted from October 19-20, the training reflects the
United States’ strong partnership with Royal Thai Customs and the Royal Thai
Government to combat nuclear proliferation. 
   

NNSA began work with RTC in 2009 on the development
of a comprehensive training program for customs officers aimed at strengthening
Thailand’s ability to prevent the smuggling of sensitive commodities that could
be used by state proliferators or terrorists. 

This week’s event marks the culmination of the
joint NNSA-RTC two-year effort that included the development of a national WMD CIT
course that was specifically tailored to the needs of Thai customs inspectors.  Future iterations of the course, which is designed
to train enforcement officials to recognize and interdict illicit transfers of
WMD-related materials and technologies, will be taught primarily by officials
from the Royal Thai Government. Thailand is the first member of the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to develop and implement its own national WMD-CIT
course.

“Our work with Thailand to detect illicit WMD commodity transfers is an
important example of NNSA’s collaboration with international partners to respond
to shared nuclear security threats,” said Anne Harrington, NNSA Deputy
Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.  “Investing in programs like NNSA’s Commodity
Identification Training is a key part of President Obama’s nuclear security
agenda and the global effort to prevent nuclear smuggling and keep proliferators
from obtaining the sensitive material, equipment, and technology needed to
acquire weapons of mass destruction.”

NNSA’s International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP), with
funding and oversight from the Department of State’s Export Control and Related
Border Security (EXBS) Program, worked with RTC to develop this national export
control program.  In addition to the CIT
course with RTC, INECP, EXBS, and the Thai Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) of
the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) also co-hosted a fourth joint enterprise
outreach workshop  on October 18.  Experts from the European Union, Japan, and the
United States met with Thai corporations and Thai governmental regulators to raise
awareness about export control obligations and WMD-related commodities of
concern.

NNSA’s INECP works collaboratively with dozens of
countries worldwide to strengthen national interdiction capabilities, focusing
on illicit shipments of proliferation-sensitive goods and other WMD-related
“dual-use” materials and equipment, which also have legitimate commercial
applications. Since 2001, INECP, EXBS, and a growing number of international
CIT partners have trained more than 15,000 customs and export control officials
to counter the spread of WMD-related commodities.

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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.