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U.S., Mongolia Participate in Radiological Security Response Exercise

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Mongolian Nuclear Energy Agency (MNEA) today announced the completion of a successful exercise that helped train Mongolian regulatory, law enforcement and other officials how to respond in the case of a terrorist attack at a facility that houses nuclear or radiological material.

The exercise, which simulated three terrorist attack scenarios, took place over four days at MNEA headquarters in Ulaanbaatar. The purpose of the response exercises is to gauge a site's preparedness for an armed attack, improve response plans and procedures and bring different response groups into the same room to analyze their roles in the response effort.

The training was part of NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative, which works to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites around the world. In addition to the training exercise, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative has worked with Mongolia to upgrade physical security at two radiological sites.

“Our partnership with Mongolia is part of NNSA’s worldwide mission to prevent nuclear and radiological material from falling into the hands of terrorists,” said Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Ken Baker. “Working collaboratively with our counterparts around the globe allows us to join forces in the international fight against illicit trafficking and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

NNSA’s partnership with Mongolia also includes a 2007 memorandum of understanding that has led to the outfitting of 10 border crossings, with four more planned or in progress, with radiation detection equipment, designed to detect illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. This installation was part of NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program, which works collaboratively with foreign partners to equip border crossings, airports and seaports with radiation detection equipment and associated communication equipment.

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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.