Tashkent, Uzbekistan – On November 15th, the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Government of Uzbekistan performed a final review of physical protection upgrades implemented to enhance the secure storage of radiological materials at the Republican Establishment of Radioactive Waste Burial (RPZRO). This jointly completed $330,000 project is a milestone in a broader cooperative effort to prevent nuclear and radiological materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.
Management of the Radiation Safety Center (RSC) of the Republic of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations attended the final walkthrough at RPZRO, which operates the national radioactive waste disposal site. During the visit to RPZRO, RSC management highlighted the major security improvements to the facility as an example of the continued cooperation between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism.
“Secure end-of-life management of radioactive sources is critical to securing them from theft. The significant security enhancements to this facility are an example of a country taking seriously its commitment to address safety and security throughout a source’s lifecycle. Cooperation between our countries to mitigate the threat of radiological terrorism has been strong, and we look forward to continuing this very valuable work,” said Anne Harrington, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.
Through its Office of Radiological Security (ORS), NNSA enhances global security by preventing high-activity radioactive materials from being used in acts of terrorism. ORS works with governments, industry, and medical facilities across the globe, providing world-class security technologies, expertise, training, source recovery, and alternative replacement strategies to users of radiological materials. ORS employs three strategies to accomplish its mission: protect radioactive sources used in vital medical, research, and commercial applications; remove and dispose of disused radioactive sources; and reduce the global reliance on high-activity radioactive sources by promoting the adoption and development of non-radioisotopic alternative technologies.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Office of Radiological Security Program, click here.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, click here.
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, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce 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. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.