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US, Netherlands Expand Partnership to Secure Radiological Materials Worldwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands today announced that they have expanded their cooperation to reduce global nuclear and radiological threats. Under an agreement signed with NNSA’s Office of Global Threat Reduction (GTRI), the Netherlands will continue its partnership with GTRI to secure and remove vulnerable radiological material by contributing $650,000 to the effort.

The contribution will support GTRI’s work in Kazakhstan on projects related to the search, removal and physical protection of radiological material. This is the Netherlands’ second major cooperative activity with GTRI, and the third time the Netherlands has partnered with NNSA’s nuclear nonproliferation programs. Previously, the Netherlands has supported NNSA’s efforts to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium producing reactor in Russia and other radiological material protection projects in Kazakhstan. To date, the Netherlands has invested more than $2,340,000 to partner with NNSA on nonproliferation efforts around the world.

“The Kingdom of the Netherlands has made significant contributions to our joint nonproliferation commitments and is a valued partner in the global effort to reduce nuclear and radiological threats. We thank the Netherlands for this most recent contribution, which underscores our shared commitment to securing vulnerable material,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “We look forward to many more years of cooperation between our countries to strengthen global security and prevent nuclear terrorism.”

Financial and in-kind contributions from international partners help augment and accelerate NNSA programs aimed at securing vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, securing and disposing of dangerous nuclear and radiological materials, and preventing nuclear smuggling. Such contributions also highlight the active program collaborations that occur within the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, of which both the Netherlands and the United States are members. In addition to the Netherlands, NNSA has received support from other Global Partnership members – Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom – to pursue nonproliferation efforts around the world, including:

  • More than $31 million to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia;
  • Nearly $32 million to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials located at civilian nuclear sites worldwide; and
  • More than $11 million to strengthen NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program.

GTRI works to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites worldwide. GTRI achieves permanent threat reduction by converting research reactors and isotope production facilities from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium; by removing and disposing of excess nuclear and radiological materials; and by protecting high priority nuclear and radiological materials from theft and sabotage.

For more information on GTRI’s efforts to reduce nuclear and radiological dangers, 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.