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NNSA Participates at World Customs Organization’s Second Technology and Innovation Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) participated in the World Customs Organization's (WCO) Second Technology and Innovation Forum this week in Cairo, Egypt. The event, which concludes today, brings together relevant international stakeholders to discuss the efficient use of technology at borders.

NNSA showcased technologies developed and deployed by its International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP) to prevent the illicit transfer of materials, equipment and technology related to weapons of mass destruction. The technologies also make the application of nonproliferation export controls more efficient and effective.

“This conference provides an excellent opportunity to showcase U.S. nuclear nonproliferation tools and technologies developed from our six decade investment in nuclear security and to learn more about what technologies are being developed by other countries,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “By partnering with customs and other frontline enforcement organizations around the world, NNSA is part of a growing international framework that supports President Obama's unprecedented nuclear security agenda and enhances global nuclear security.”

Over the course of the three-day WCO forum, experts from customs organizations, other governmental agencies, industry leaders and international organizations participated in panel discussions and highlighted a wide range of inspection technologies used by front line inspectors to ensure safe and secure trade.

“Our commitment to safe and secure global trade using trade management techniques such as risk management and the latest inspection technologies remains unwavering,” said Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO. “This second Technology and Innovation Forum enables us to continue our dialogue on creative and innovative solutions to strengthen border integrity from nuclear and other criminal threats that could harm economies and the health and safety of people around the world.”

NNSA technologies highlighted at the WCO forum included eCIT, an online reference database jointly developed by NNSA and Argonne National Laboratories that helps front-line personnel identify suspect commodities.

Also on display were NNSA portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) metal analyzers that, when paired with software jointly developed by NNSA and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, enable enforcement personnel to identify sensitive metals or controlled equipment made from these metals. Without access to such analytical technologies in the field, customs officials are unable to recognize potentially controlled materials in a timely fashion in order to determine whether or not a shipment requires an export license.

INECP is part of NNSA's larger effort to detect, secure and dispose of dangerous nuclear and radiological material and related equipment. INECP currently engages nonproliferation technical specialists in more than 60 countries to ensure effective implementation of national export control laws and international nonproliferation commitments.

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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.