WASHINGTON – Because nuclear and radioactive materials are most vulnerable to theft and sabotage when they are being transported, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) is on a mission to make nuclear and radioactive material transport more secure globally.
Because of the great promise materials hold for nuclear medicine and reducing the global carbon footprint, we have an obligation to share what we know and to learn from the experiences of our partners.
The most recent opportunity was during a side event at the International Conference on the Safe and Secure Transport of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The conference focused on the vital role transport security plays in meeting the growing demands for nuclear technology and for the use of radioactive materials. The side event featured speakers from the NNSA Office of Global Material Security, as well as representatives of Romania and Colombia, who shared positive impacts from NNSA-sponsored, virtual information-sharing activities in their regions.
“NNSA has a track record of moving nuclear and radioactive materials securely,” said Corey Hinderstein, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. “Because of the great promise materials hold for nuclear medicine and reducing the global carbon footprint, we have an obligation to share what we know and to learn from the experiences of our partners.”
Earlier in 2021, NNSA hosted four regional events, which garnered participants from over 50 countries. During these events, countries shared best practices on addressing regional transport security challenges. With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting in-person engagements, NNSA is committed to still finding ways to share information through virtual platforms.
The virtual events were an outcome of the International Transport Security Symposium hosted by Japan in 2019. Feedback from the symposium pointed to the need for regionally focused events to better understand mutual threats and risks. These events were designed to gather experts and transport security stakeholders from various regions to increase awareness of their specific hazards associated with transporting nuclear and radioactive materials.
Each regional event covered a range of transportation issues, including threats to supply chains, cargo theft, terrorism, maritime piracy, international shipments, laws and regulations, physical security measures, and cybersecurity. Two of the regional events included a special session on gender parity to address the root challenges that limit the representation, visibility, and career development of female professionals in nuclear security.