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US, Poland, and Ukraine Collaborated on Nuclear Security for 2012 European Soccer Championship

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of the Second Line of Defense (SLD) program announced the successful completion of work with the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service (SBGS), the Polish Border Guard, and the Polish National Police in strengthening security at border crossings and airports in the lead up to the recent Union of European Football Association’s European Soccer Championship – “Euro 2012.”  Held once every four years, this sporting event is the third largest in the world, behind only the Olympics and the World Cup and was co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine from June 8 to July 1.

In a joint initiative aimed at protecting Euro 2012 from nuclear and radiological threats, SLD worked with the Ukrainian SBGS to install radiation detection systems and provide related training at newly constructed airports in Ukrainian host cities Lviv, Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kyiv, as well as with the Polish Border Guard to distribute handheld equipment at Polish international airports. In addition, six vehicle border crossings in Ukraine and Poland were equipped with detection systems in recent months in preparation for the record number of soccer fans expected to drive to the games. New Mobile Detection System vans were also provided to the Polish National Police and the Ukrainian SBGS to provide an additional layer of radiation detection capability at points throughout the country where they are most needed. 

“Our partnerships with the Governments of Ukraine and Poland reflect a continued, shared commitment to safeguarding the lives of our citizens by combating the illicit trafficking of nuclear material and preventing nuclear terrorism,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “By commissioning radiation detection equipment at multiple locations and providing mobile detection systems in Poland and Ukraine in recent months, we have supported an expanded and flexible capability that will increase the level of nuclear security for Euro 2012 and into the future.”

NNSA’s SLD program works with foreign governments at land border crossings, airports, and seaports to install specialized radiation detection equipment, mobile radiation detection equipment, and associated communications equipment. Through its SLD program, NNSA also provides training to host government law enforcement officers and other personnel to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.

For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program, click here.

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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.