NNSA Works With Ukrainian Border Agency to Thwart Nuclear Smuggling

Press Release
May 21, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (ASBGS) today commissioned a radiation detection checkpoint at the Kuchurgan vehicle crossing in Ukraine.

A joint ceremony was held at the crossing in Ukraine to highlight the installation and operation of radiation detection equipment provided by NNSA. The ceremony recognized the ongoing cooperation between the United States and Ukraine to prevent the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material across Ukrainian borders.

Under a 2005 agreement, NNSA's Second Line of Defense program assisted the Ukrainian border guard service by conducting training, holding technical workshops, and providing and maintaining radiation detection equipment at border crossings and other points of entry. As part of the assistance, NNSA has deployed radiation detection equipment at five sites in Ukraine on the Moldovan border, including Kuchurgan, where the commissioning ceremony was held. NNSA will work with Ukraine to equip an additional 25 sites.

"Ukraine and the United States are working closely together to stop nuclear smuggling. This partnership plays a critical role in the global fight against illicit trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation as we work together to complete installation of NNSA's radiation detection equipment at the remaining sites in Ukraine," said William Tobey, leader of NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation programs.

Attending the commissioning ceremony were United States Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, NNSA's Assistant Deputy Administrator for International Material Protection and Cooperation David Huizenga, and ASBGS head Colonel General Mykola Lytvyn.

NNSA's Second Line of Defense program works with foreign governments around the world at border crossings, airports and seaports to install specialized radiation detection equipment and to train officials to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials. To date, the program has installed equipment at over 100 different sites.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized 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