LAEM CHABANG, Thailand – The U.S. Embassy in Thailand, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Customs Department of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Port Authority of Thailand, and the Thai Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) held a transition ceremony yesterday to celebrate the official transfer of the radiation detection system installed at Laem Chabang Port, with Thailand now taking over full responsibility of maintaining the equipment and training the operators. The event recognizes the success of the U.S.-Thailand cooperation in border monitoring and nuclear security, highlighting the strong partnership between the two countries while reaffirming a shared commitment to international efforts to prevent nuclear smuggling across the globe.
“Cooperation between NNSA and Thailand represents our shared commitment to important global nonproliferation efforts that will help to keep dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators,” said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Thailand plays a key role in the region’s maritime shipping and the transition of the Laem Chabang Port radiation detection system will be a critical step forward in enhancing not only the security in the region but also that of the global maritime network.”
Since 2005, NNSA’s Second Line Defense (SLD) Program has been strengthening the Kingdom of Thailand’s capability to deter, detect and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials. Radiation detection equipment has been installed at the Port of Laem Chabang accompanied with training provided to Thailand’s Customs and Port Authority officials on operations and maintenance of the system. SLD and the Kingdom of Thailand have been raising awareness of the potential danger of nuclear and other radioactive materials outside of regulatory control. SLD has provided five years of sustainability assistance, and now Thailand is taking over full responsibility of maintaining the equipment and training the operators.
This arrangement is one important part of NNSA’s extensive nuclear and radiological security cooperation with Thailand. NNSA engages with Thailand to address a broad range of issues, including nuclear safeguards, border security and export control, and nuclear forensics. Additionally, as a part of its mission to reduce and protect vulnerable nuclear and radiological materials at civilian sites worldwide, NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative has cooperated with Thailand’s Office of Atoms for Peace since 2010 to improve the physical security of more than 10 medical, research and commercial/industrial buildings utilizing high activity radioactive materials.
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.