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U.S. and the Philippines to Cooperate on Detecting Illicit Shipments of Nuclear Material

Will Help Thwart Terrorist Attempts to Smuggle Material for Nuclear Weapons and "Dirty Bombs"

WASHINGTON , D.C. - The United States and the Philippines have signed an agreement to install special equipment at one of the busiest seaports in the Philippines to detect hidden shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material. The agreement will expand the two countries' cooperation in the war on terrorism.

The effort is part of the Second Line of Defense Program, a nonproliferation program of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that works with foreign partners to detect, deter, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials.

"The United States and the Philippines recognize the importance of joining forces to stem the threat posed by the trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials," NNSA Deputy Administrator Paul Longsworth said.  "This agreement represents a significant step forward in the effort to improve the security of the global maritime shipping network."

Under the Second Line of Defense Program, NNSA works with foreign partners to equip border crossings, airports, and seaports with radiation detection equipment and to provide training to appropriate law enforcement officials. The specialized radiation detection technology deployed under this program is based on technologies originally developed by NNSA laboratories as part of overall U.S. government efforts to guard against proliferation of weapons materials.

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 energy. 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):
Bryan Wilkes (202) 586-7371

Number: NA-05-17