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Press Release

NNSA, Federal Customs Service of Russia Equip Every Border Crossing in the Russian Federation with Radiation Detection Systems
Sep 22, 2011

Joint effort helps stop nuclear and radiological smuggling at 383 border crossings



The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Federal Customs Service of Russia (FCS Russia) announced today the completion of their joint work on equipping all Russian border crossing points with sophisticated technology designed to stop nuclear and radiological smuggling. NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program and FCS have now equipped all 383 border crossings with radiation detection monitors. The radiation detection systems detect and deter illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders. The systems are an integral component of border control and the international nonproliferation regime.

“By meeting our mutual goal of securing Russian border crossings, we have reduced the risk of illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials, strengthened our partnership in the international fight against terrorism, and taken a significant step in implementing President Obama’s nuclear security agenda,” said NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. 

Vladimir Malinin, First Deputy Head of FCS Russia, added that “FCS Russia highly values the kind of support rendered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Second Line of Defense Program in equipping Russian border crossing points with radiation control monitors.”

In 1996, SLD and FCS implemented a partnership approach, based upon cost-sharing, intended to improve technical capabilities. Since the signing of the first Protocol in 1998, NNSA and FCS have cooperated on the installation of stationary and portable radiation monitoring devices at Russian border crossings, as well as on the maintenance and sustainability of these systems. The radiation detection equipment complies with the highest standards and is tailored to the customs control techniques used by FCS. The equipment is a dependable tool in the interdiction of nuclear materials and radioactive substances smuggling.

In 2006, recognizing the ongoing importance of this work in combating the threat of international nuclear terrorism, SLD and FCS reached an agreement to jointly equip every crossing point in the Russian Federation with radiation detection devices by the end of 2011.

SLD and FCS are also currently working on jointly installing a communications integration system. The sides have stated their intentions to integrate all Directorates, Customs Houses and border crossings by the end of 2015.

For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program, click here.

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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.