U.S. and Dutch Governments Agree to Expand Cooperation to Secure Materials that Could be Used in Dirty Bombs

Press Release
May 4, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Government of the Netherlands today announced an agreement to expand their partnership to help combat nuclear terrorism around the world. Under the agreement, signed by NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Royal Netherlands Embassy Gerard van der Wulp, the Dutch government will contribute $500,000 to support NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) program work in Kazakhstan.

“We welcome the Netherlands’ continued partnership and generous support of our efforts to implement the unprecedented nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit,” said Harrington. “This latest contribution is evidence of our shared commitment to investing in the future of a global campaign to secure vulnerable nuclear material around the world and prevent terrorists and proliferators from acquiring dangerous radioactive materials.”

“The Netherlands is committed to guaranteeing nuclear security and combating nuclear terrorism.  Our signing of thisDutch signing Memorandum of Understanding with the United States is a concrete illustration of the Netherlands' active participation in the Nuclear Security Summit, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the G8 Global Partnership,” said Deputy Chief of Mission Gerard van der Wulp.

As part of its radiological security mission, NNSA’s GTRI works with partner countries to search for radiological sources that have been abandoned or disused, remove them and place them in secure storage, and improve radiological transportation security.  The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ contribution will be used to support a search and secure training course for officials from the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and New Technologies to identify and secure vulnerable, radiological sources.  The contribution will also support the provision of secure transportation equipment and the recovery of high-activity sources.  The assistance will provide Kazakhstan with additional tools and skills to identify, secure and remove radioactive materials in the future.

NNSA has developed similar partnerships with Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, 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.

Through the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, NNSA works with foreign governments to identify, secure, remove and/or facilitate the disposition of high risk vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials around the world that pose a threat to the United States and the international community. GTRI works to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites around the world.

For a fact sheet on NNSA’s GTRI program, click here

Recently, President Obama submitted to Congress his budget request for fiscal year 2012. It includes $2.5 billion in FY 2012 and $14.2 billion over the next five years to reduce the global nuclear threat by detecting, securing, safeguarding, disposing and controlling nuclear and radiological material, as well as promoting the responsible application of nuclear technology and science, highlighting the critical role NNSA and its nonproliferation programs play in implementing the President’s nuclear security agenda.

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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.

For more than 400 years, the Netherlands and the United States have been joined by the values of freedom, justice and an entrepreneurial spirit. A vibrant economic force, the Netherlands is also the third largest investor in America and a reliable trade and investment partner to the U.S. The Royal Netherlands Embassy, Dutch Consulates General and Honorary Consuls in the U.S. promote strong bilateral relations between the United States and the Netherlands in the areas of peace and stability; international law; energy and climate; water management; international human rights; and creative industries. The Netherlands and the United States: Two countries, one spirit united by values, history and a vision of the future.

More information: Combating Global Security Threats From Non-State, Criminal Actors - The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC 

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