Canada Increases Support to NNSA Effort to Fight Nuclear Terrorism

Press Release
Jan 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that it will expand the ongoing partnership with Canada to help combat nuclear terrorism around the world.  Under an agreement signed with NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program, Canada will provide nearly $4 million (US) for nuclear nonproliferation work in Ukraine.  This is the second contribution from the Government of Canada to SLD's work with Ukraine.  Since 2005, Canada has provided nearly $20 million in contributions to three NNSA programs – SLD, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and the Elimination of Weapons Grade Plutonium Production program.

"We welcome Canada's generous and continued support," said Ken Baker, NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.  "This contribution reinforces the cooperation between our countries to strengthen global and national efforts to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive materials." 

In December 2008, NNSA, the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (ASBGS) and Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada held a ceremony at Ukraine's Kyiv Boryspil International Airport to commission the operation of radiation detection equipment.  Canada's additional $4 million contribution to the SLD program will be used to provide radiation detection equipment to Ukraine's international border crossings in order to deter nuclear smuggling and fight the proliferation of nuclear and radiological material that could be used in weapons of mass destruction or dirty bombs. 

International contributions, whether financial or in-kind, augment NNSA programs aimed at improving the capabilities of our international partners to detect, secure and dispose of dangerous nuclear and radiological material.  To date, NNSA has received support from Canada, Finland, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom to pursue nonproliferation efforts around the world, including:

  • Over $31 million to shut down the last remaining weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia.
  • Nearly $8 million to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials located at civilian nuclear sites worldwide.
  • Over $10 million to strengthen security at international land borders, seaports and airports that may be used as smuggling routes for nuclear or radiological materials.

NNSA's Second Line of Defense Program works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated communications equipment.  The SLD Program also provides training to host government border guard officials and other personnel to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials.  NNSA has installed similar equipment at over 230 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. 

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371