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Disused Radioactive Sources Secured in Georgia

TBLISI, GEORGIA – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) joined the governments of Georgia and the United Kingdom today in announcing the removal of more than 150 disused radioactive sources from Georgia’s Institute of Radiobiology. 

The project was implemented through the combined efforts of NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (DNN), Georgia’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, and the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This achievement is the culmination of a two-year project with Georgia’s Radiation Technology Safety Center to plan and execute the safe and secure removal of disused high activity sources from the Institute of Radiobiology to a more secure storage facility.

As part of NNSA’s broader cooperative effort to help prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism around the world, the removal of these radioactive sources supports efforts by Georgia’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection to implement international guidelines to protect and secure radiological materials.

The removal of the sources was made possible by a financial contribution from the United Kingdom for this work. This is the most recent of expression of the long history of cooperation in global security projects to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism between the United Kingdom and the United States.

“We are pleased to work with Georgia and the United Kingdom on important threat reduction projects such as this,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “The removal of disused radioactive sources contributes to global security and is vital to the prevention of radioactive material being used for malicious purposes.”

As part of its radiological security mission, NNSA works with partner countries to search for radiological sources that have been abandoned or disused, remove those sources and place them in secure storage, and improve radiological transportation security and site security.  

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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.