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U.S. And Kyrgyzstan Cooperate To Prevent Smuggling Of Nuclear And Radioactive Material

WASHINGTON DC -- The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Kyrgyzstan State Customs Committee (SCC) today announced an agreement to coordinate efforts to prevent nuclear smuggling by installing radiation detection equipment at multiple border crossings in Kyrgyzstan.  The agreement signed today provides the framework for the two countries to work together to detect illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material.

"Today's agreement with Kyrgyzstan will help keep nuclear and radiological material out of the hands of terrorists and criminals," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.  "NNSA will continue to foster international partnerships to detect, secure and dispose of dangerous nuclear material around the world."

The agreement, signed by NNSA and the Kyrgyz SCC will allow NNSA to install radiation detection equipment and communications equipment, and provide training on the operation and maintenance of the systems to Kyrgyzstan customs officials.  U.S. technical experts will soon begin working with the SCC by surveying sites for future equipment installations.

The work will be 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.  Similar equipment has been installed at over 160 sites around the world.

The specialized radiation-detection technology is part of the overall U.S. nuclear security program to guard against proliferation of weapons materials, which directly supports the Bush administration's priorities to combat terrorism and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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