NNSA Participates in WCO's First Technology and Innovation Forum

Press Release
Nov 6, 2009

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) participated in the World Customs Organization's (WCO) First Technology and Innovation Forum this week. NNSA's International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP) presented technologies developed by the U.S. National Laboratories and deployed globally by NNSA to prevent the illicit transfer of materials, equipment and technology related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  
 
"NNSA's global efforts to prevent nuclear materials, equipment and technologies from falling into the hands of terrorists and proliferators are critical to implementing President Obama's unprecedented nuclear security agenda," said NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Ken Baker.  "Enabling customs and other frontline enforcement organizations to detect items needed to manufacture WMD is a vital element of NNSA's program to enhance global nuclear security."  

Over the course of the two-day forum, experts from customs organizations, the business community and other government agencies participated in panel discussions and highlighted a wide range of inspections technologies used by front line inspectors to ensure safe and secure trade. 
 
Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya said, "Technology is now recognized by governments across the globe as a key enabler for speedy and effective progress towards better border control and enhanced national security."  Mikuriya added, "Securing global trade from nuclear and other threats, particularly at borders, is paramount, and using technology and innovative solutions to do so underscores its importance to government agencies charged with ensuring the integrity and safety of our borders."

The INECP presentation detailed key technologies developed by the U.S. National Laboratories to make the application of nonproliferation export controls more efficient and effective.  The x-ray fluorescence (XRF) portable metal analyzer, for example, is equipped with NNSA-sponsored software and enables enforcement personnel to identify sensitive metals or controlled commodities, which is impossible to achieve on a timely basis without access to such analytical technology in the field. 

Joined by experts from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, NNSA's Director of INECP, Todd Perry, highlighted how the use of these technologies at home and with our partner countries overseas in response to the global WMD proliferation challenge represents an important example of the benefits that come from NNSA's investment in President Obama's nuclear security agenda.  The two laboratories were on hand to demonstrate XRF and other technologies for forum participants.

NNSA's International Nonproliferation Export Control Program is part of NNSA's larger effort to detect, secure and dispose of dangerous nuclear and radiological material and related equipment.  INECP currently engages nonproliferation technical specialists in more than 60 countries to ensure effective implementation of national export control laws and international nonproliferation commitments.

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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 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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