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Fixed and mobile detection systems will prevent smuggling of dangerous radioactive materials
Sofia, Bulgaria – Representatives of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian government this week celebrated the completion of Bulgaria’s nuclear detection architecture, which will enhance efforts to prevent smuggling of dangerous radioactive materials across its borders.
National and foreign dignitaries, including U.S. Ambassador Eric Rubin and Deputy Prime Minister Rumiana Bachvarova, gathered in Sofia to highlight the successful implementation of 27 radiation detection systems at locations across Bulgaria.
“Working together with our partners from the Ministry of Interior/Chief Directorate of Border Police (MOI/CDBP), we have successfully implemented a multilayered nuclear detection architecture in Bulgaria,” said Anne Harrington, NNSA’s Deputy Administration for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. “With this architecture, MOI/CDBP can deter, detect, and investigate the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials at all of Bulgaria’s major points-of-entry (POE). This represents a significant step in our governments’ joint efforts to keep dangerous materials out of the hands of smugglers and terrorists.”
Since 2008, NNSA and MOI/CDBP have jointly deployed fixed and mobile radiation detection systems to official and unofficial POEs along Bulgaria’s borders as well as at its international airports. They have trained over 3,000 front-line officers to operate these systems and respond to radiation alarms. In addition, they have implemented an information system that transmits alarm data from POEs to MOI/CDBP’s national and regional headquarters. This multilayered nuclear detection architecture enabled a professional, committed partner in a strategic location to participate effectively in the fight against nuclear smuggling.
Through its Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD), NNSA provides partner-countries with the tools and training necessary to counter nuclear smuggling, making an essential contribution to the global nuclear detection architecture. It does this by installing radiation detection systems at high-priority locations around the world, and by building a community of states that possess an indigenous capacity to deter, detect, and interdict nuclear and radioactive materials. In addition to Bulgaria, NSDD has completed the implementation of radiation detection systems in Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Armenia, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, enhancing nuclear security throughout Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence Program, click here.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism, click here.
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, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive 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. Visit nnsa.energy.gov for more information.