U.S., Kazakhstan, Norway Finish Major Joint Border Security And Nonproliferation Effort

Successful installation of radiation detection equipment at four border crossings and one international airport in Kazakhstan

 - By Stephen Heiser -

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Administration of the Customs Control Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KCCC) and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan to recognize the successful installation of radiation detection equipment at four border crossings and one international airport in Kazakhstan.  The ceremony also recognized the effective cooperation between the U.S., Kazakhstan and Norway in preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material across Kazakhstan’s borders.

“We appreciate both Kazakhstan’s commitment and Norway’s contribution to advancing our common international security goals,” said NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Kenneth Baker.  “The commissioning of the radiation detection systems at Kazakhstan’s borders represents an important step forward in increasing transcontinental security.  We will continue to strengthen our cooperation as we work together to complete installation of the radiation detection systems at other sites in Kazakhstan.”

Funds for the purchase and installation of the equipment at two of the sites recognized today were provided by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The remaining three sties were funded by NNSA.

Under a 2006 Implementing Agreement between the U.S. and Kazakhstan, NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program is working with KCCC to provide radiation detection equipment at border crossings and other points of entry, conduct training, and hold technical workshops.  As part of a 2008 agreement between the U.S. and Norway, Norway contributed $837,600 toward NNSA’s nonproliferation projects in Kazakhstan, including the purchase of the radiation detection equipment for two border crossings on Kazakhstan's northern border.

NNSA’s SLD Program works with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.  NNSA has installed similar equipment at more than 335 sites around the world.

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 in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the 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. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.

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