U.S. and Ukraine Announce Completion of Radiation Detection System at Odessa Airport

Press Release
Jun 11, 2009

U.S. and Ukraine Announce Completion of Radiation Detection System at Odessa Airport

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (ASBGS) held a ceremony today to commission new radiation detection systems at Odessa's International Airport. Today's ceremony also recognized the continuing cooperation between the United States and Ukraine in preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material across Ukrainian territory.

"We appreciate Ukraine's commitment to advancing our common interest in enhancing nuclear security by stopping the smuggling of dangerous nuclear and radiological materials," said NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Ken Baker. "The commissioning of the radiation detection system at Odessa International Airport represents another milestone in our joint nonproliferation effort. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation as we work together to equip over 70 of Ukraine's points of exit and entry."
 
Under a 2005 Implementing Agreement between the U.S. and Ukraine, NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program is working with the ASBGS to provide radiation detection equipment at more than 70 points of exit and entry, conduct training, and hold technical workshops. As a potential transit country for illicit nuclear and radiological materials moving between Europe and Asia, the radiation detection systems being installed across Ukraine will help increase transcontinental security by enhancing Ukraine's ability to detect, deter, and interdict nuclear smuggling. 

Today's ceremony commemorated the successful installation and certification of radiation detection systems at Odessa's International Airport.  The work was performed by NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program, which works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports, and other points of exit and entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated communications equipment. The SLD Program also provides training to host government border guard officials and other personnel to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials. NNSA has installed similar equipment at 250 sites around the world.

A fact sheet on NNSA's Second Line of Defense program is available.

The NNSA also has a long history of collaborating with Ukraine in other important nonproliferation areas such as scientist engagement at former WMD facilities and export control training with the Ukraine's State Customs Service concerning the recognition of WMD-related commodities.  Ukraine has also worked cooperatively under the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) to upgrade the physical security at over 60 sites that store or use high activity radiological sources, including the Odessa State Interregional Special Combine, whose job it is to collect, transport, treat, store, and dispose of radioactive waste from the Odessa region. 

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.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371