WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the State Border Guard of Latvia (SBG) today announced the commissioning of specialized radiation detection equipment at the Freeport of Riga, in an effort to prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Under a 2007 agreement between the U.S. and Latvia, NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program has been working with SBG on projects at seven sites and a training center in Latvia. The most recent installation represents a significant milestone in the U.S. and Latvia’s shared effort to combat nuclear terrorism.
“We appreciate Latvia’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 the smuggling of nuclear materials across international borders, we are working together to implement President Obama’s nuclear security agenda while promoting peace and security around the world. We look forward to our continued work with our Latvian partners to make the world a safer place."
Radiation detection systems detect and deter illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders, forming an integral component of border control and the international nonproliferation regime. The radiation detection systems installed at the Freeport of Riga and across Latvia will improve global security by enhancing Latvia's ability to detect, deter, and interdict nuclear smuggling.
NNSA’s SLD 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.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program, click here.
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.