NNSA Achieves First Major Milestone in Project to Prevent Nuclear Smuggling in Mongolia

Press Release
Nov 14, 2008
NNSA Commissions Five Sites Newly Equipped With Radiation Detection Equipment in Mongolia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation with the Mongolian State Specialized Inspection Agency, commissioned the first five sites on the Mongolian border that have been outfitted with radiation detection equipment, designed to detect illicit smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.

"Mongolia and the United States are working closely together to stop the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.  This partnership plays a critical role in the global fight against illicit trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Assistant Deputy Administrator for International Material Protection and Cooperation David Huizenga, who attended the commissioning ceremony in Mongolia. "NNSA and the Mongolian State Specialized Inspection Agency will work together to upgrade additional sites over the next few years and collaborate on response and maintenance training."

Representatives from the U.S. Embassy and multiple agencies within the Mongolian government participated in a joint ceremony at Chinggis Khaan International Airport that highlighted the successful installation and operation of the radiation detection equipment, which was provided by NNSA.  The ceremony recognized the ongoing cooperation between the United States and Mongolia to prevent the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.

The work was performed by NNSA's Second Line of Defense Program, which works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and train officials to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.  NNSA has installed similar equipment at over 160 sites around the world.

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.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371