NNSA Works With Australian Agency to Counter Radiological Threats

Press Release
Mar 10, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. - - Today, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) agreed to join forces to counter radiological threats - such as a "dirty bomb" - and respond to emergencies. NNSA's Principal Deputy Administrator Jerry Paul and ARPANSA's Chief Executive Officer Dr. John Loy signed a memorandum of understanding for the two agencies to work together.

"Australia is a key ally in the Southeast Asia region. We are already working together to reduce the threat posed by radiological material in the hands of terrorists, but this agreement solidifies that relationship and will allow us to cooperate even more," said Paul.

Today's memorandum of understanding builds upon current cooperation between the United States and Australia to enhance radioactive source security in Southeast Asia and prevent terrorists from obtaining material for a dirty bomb. NNSA and ARPANSA will work together, exchanging information and technical expertise, to secure radioactive material and respond to emergency situations.

"Australia stands as a model for leaders in other regions to implement such multilateral, cooperative programs. We look forward to working even further with Australia to keep dirty bomb material out of terrorism's reach," said Paul.

The agreement was facilitated through NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative program. The program's mission is to identify, secure, recover and/or facilitate the final disposition of high-risk vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials around the world as quickly as possible.

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