NNSA Works with Cyprus to Thwart Nuclear Smuggling

Press Release
Dec 12, 2007
NNSA provides radiation detection equipment at Port of Limassol

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation with the Cypriot Customs Service, commissioned a newly upgraded portal monitor at Limassol seaport in Cyprus today. The monitor will help detect the illicit smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials in cargo containers passing through the port.

"Cyprus and the United States are working closely together to stop the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials. This partnership plays a critical role in the global fight against illicit trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey.

A joint ceremony was held with Cypriot customs and the U.S. Embassy to highlight the installation and operation of the radiation detection equipment provided by NNSA. The ceremony recognized the ongoing cooperation between the United States and Cyprus to prevent the trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Since 2004, NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) program has assisted the Cyprus Customs Service in maintaining radiation detection equipment by providing new equipment and training that improves detection of nuclear and radioactive material in cargo at the port.

NNSA's SLD program provides detection systems around the world to help combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism. SLD installs radiation detection equipment at strategic locations, and provides training in detection, identification, and interdiction of nuclear and radiological materials, as well as training in the operations and maintenance of the equipment. The specialized radiation-detection technology is part of the overall U.S. nuclear security program to guard against proliferation of weapons materials. It is part of the Bush administration's overall efforts in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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. 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