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U.S. and the Czech Republic Increase Cooperation to Prevent Nuclear Smuggling

Washington, D.C. – The United States and the Czech Republic announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is intended to strengthen efforts in the fight against nuclear terrorism. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman and Czech First Deputy Minister of the Interior Jaroslav Hruška signed the MOU which lays the foundation to begin work to prevent the illicit trafficking of special nuclear and other radioactive material.

“This Memorandum of Understanding solidifies the United States’ and the Czech Republic’s partnership and commitment to combating nuclear terrorism and contributes to our mutual security,” Deputy Secretary Poneman said. “Our partnership with the Czech Republic enhances our capability to prevent trafficking of nuclear and other radiological materials through the deployment of advanced radiation detection technologies. This MOU signifies an important step forward in supporting President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”

Pursuant to the MOU, the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) plans to provide mobile and man-portable radiation detection equipment and specialized training to the Police Presidium of the Czech Republic to enhance the Czech Police’s ability to respond to illicit nuclear or radiological smuggling events. Additionally, NNSA intends to provide specialized operator and maintenance training to the Czech Police.

First Deputy Minister Hruška reaffirmed his appreciation of NNSA’s contribution to increasing the capabilities of Czech Police. "All countries must be vigilant to prevent trafficking in nuclear material. The Memorandum of Understanding and the support offered by the United States enable us to cooperate much more closely and efficiently to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism."

NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program (SLD) works collaboratively with foreign governments at land border crossings, airports, and seaports to provide specialized fixed and mobile radiation detection equipment and associated handheld and communications equipment. In addition, SLD provides mobile and man-portable radiation detection equipment to foreign police and other agencies for use throughout the country.  The SLD Program also provides training to host government officials to operate and maintain systems that detect nuclear and other radioactive materials.

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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. 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.