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U.S. Helps Equip Ukrainian Airport with Cutting-Edge Radiation Detection Equipment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (ASBGS) today announced the commissioning of radiation detection equipment at the Kharkiv International Airport, a significant milestone in their shared effort to combat nuclear terrorism. Under a 2005 agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine, NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program has been working with ASBGS to provide radiation detection equipment at more than 80 international crossing points of all types throughout Ukraine.
This latest milestone reflects the ongoing cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine in preventing the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials, one of President Obama’s national security goals. As a potential transit country for illicit nuclear and radiological materials moving between Europe and Asia, the radiation detection systems installed at the Kharkiv airport and across Ukraine will improve global security by enhancing Ukraine's ability to detect, deter, and interdict nuclear smuggling.

“We appreciate Ukraine’s commitment to advancing our shared effort to prevent dangerous nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “By preventing terrorists or would-be proliferators from smuggling nuclear materials across international borders, we are working to implement President Obama’s unprecedented nuclear security agenda while promoting peace and security around the world. We look forward to our continued work with our Ukrainian partners to make the world safer and free of WMD threats.”
The FY 2012 budget request submitted to Congress requests $2.5 billion in FY 2012 and $14.2 billion over the next five years to reduce the global nuclear threat by detecting, securing, safeguarding, disposing and controlling nuclear and radiological material, as well as promoting the responsible application of nuclear technology and science. It includes $263.8 million for the Second Line of Defense Program, highlighting the critical role NNSA and its nonproliferation programs play in implementing the President’s nuclear security agenda.

NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program works collaboratively 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. NNSA has provided similar equipment to five other Central and Southeastern European countries

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 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.