Canada to Support NNSA Effort to Fight Nuclear Terrorism

Press Release
May 9, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. - - The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced today that it will team up with Canada to help combat nuclear terrorism around the world. Under an agreement signed with two of NNSA's nonproliferation programs, Canada will provide approximately $6 million for nuclear nonproliferation work in Ukraine and Russia.

The agreement facilitates cooperation between Canada and the United States to further the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The 2002 partnership was established in Kananaskis, Canada as a 10 year partnership in which nations committed to raise up to $20 billion dollars to support specific cooperation projects to address nonproliferation, disarmament, counterterrorism and nuclear safety, including threats posed by vulnerable, high-risk nuclear and other radioactive materials.

"Nuclear terrorism is a global problem; therefore it requires a global solution," said William Tobey, NNSA's deputy administrator for nuclear nonproliferation. "This type of cooperative work between the Canada, Ukraine, Russia, and the United States is exactly the kind of effort the world needs to counter nuclear and radiological threats. We appreciate Canada's generous support and contribution."

Canada will join two NNSA-led efforts to fight the proliferation of nuclear and radiological material that could be used in weapons of mass destruction or in "dirty bombs." Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will contribute $4,418,820 to NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program to train border officials and provide radiation detection equipment on several Ukrainian borders in order to deter nuclear smuggling. Canada also will contribute $1,738,000 to NNSA's Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) to recover and secure up to 15 radioisotopic thermoelectric generators in Russia which each contain over 50,000 curies of radioactivity. In the past, Canada has provided critical financial support to a U.S.-led Elimination of Weapons Grade Plutonium project in Zheleznogorsk, Russia.

NNSA's SLD program works with foreign governments at border crossings, airports and seaport to install specialized radiation detection equipment and train officials to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials. To date, the program has installed equipment at over 100 sites around the world. GTRI's mission is to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological material located at civilian sites world wide. The program has removed approximately 65 nuclear bombs worth of nuclear material from sites overseas, recovered more than 15,000 excess U.S. radiological sources, and secured over 540 radiological sites around the world.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within DOE 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