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NNSA, Tajikistan Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency Sign MOU to Combat Illicit Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Tajikistan’s Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency signed a memorandum of understanding on April 29, 2013, that will strengthen their efforts to deter, detect and interdict the illicit smuggling of special nuclear and other radiological materials.

“This agreement represents the shared commitment of both the United States and Tajikistan to combat nuclear smuggling,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “The deployment of advanced radiation detection technologies, which will be provided to Tajikistan under the agreement, will enhance our mutual security efforts.”

Under the agreement, NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program plans to provide mobile and man portable radiation detection equipment and specialized training to Tajikistan Customs and the Border Guard officers that will enhance their ability to respond to illicit nuclear or radiological smuggling events. Additionally, SLD will provide specialized operator and maintenance training to ensure long term sustainment of the systems. This effort complements the U.S.-Tajikistan Joint Action Plan on Combating Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials signed in November 2011.

NNSA’s Second Line of Defense program works collaboratively with foreign governments at land border crossings, airports and seaports to provide specialized fixed and mobile radiation detection equipment and associated handheld and communications equipment. In addition, SLD provides mobile and man portable radiation detection equipment to law enforcement and other agencies for use throughout the country. The SLD Program also provides training to government officials to assist with the operations, maintenance and long term sustainability of the systems. To date, SLD has equipped more than 500 sites in more than 50 countries with radiation detection equipment.

This agreement is one important part of NNSA’s layered approach to nuclear and radiological security cooperation with Tajikistan. Other efforts include the provision of physical protection upgrades at sites with radiological materials and export control cooperation, such as hands-on training for Tajikistan’s customs officers focused on identifying dual-use commodities that could be used to build weapons of mass destruction. NNSA also conducts technical exchanges with government officials on strategic trade control best practices, as well as engages Tajik scientists in collaborative research and development projects to develop innovative solutions to regional and global security issues.

For a fact sheet on NNSA’s efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, click here.

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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. 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.