Mitigates the threat of terrorists gaining possession of smuggled nuclear and radioactive materials that could be weaponized

NSDD 20th anniversary logo

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) marked the 20th anniversary of the Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) program today with a ceremony featuring NNSA leadership, members of Congress, and international partners.

The officials praised NSDD’s work with international partners to strengthen capabilities to detect, disrupt, and investigate the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials before they can be used in acts of terrorism.

“America, our allies, and the world are safer thanks to NSDD’s efforts over the past two decades to mitigate the threat of terrorists gaining possession of smuggled nuclear and radioactive materials that could be weaponized,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator.

Radioactive and nuclear materials remain prevalent throughout the world and continue to pose serious threats to U.S. national security. More than 30 countries possess enriched uranium and separated plutonium stored at hundreds of sites, and over 100 countries possess radioactive materials stored at thousands of sites.  

“By providing equipment and training for police, border security, and security services throughout the world, NSDD has built a global community capable of interdicting and investigating cases of nuclear material smuggling,” added Administrator Gordon-Hagerty. “Moreover, NSDD has garnered support from both side of the aisle as demonstrated by the Members of Congress here today.”

Since its founding, NSDD and its predecessor organizations have worked with over 100 partners in more than 70 countries worldwide. The program has:

  • Deployed nearly 800 radiation detection systems;
  • Transitioned responsibility for the long-term operation and maintenance of more than 620 systems deployed to international partners; and
  • Engaged with 15 international partners to increase global nuclear forensics capabilities.

U.S. Representatives Bill Foster, Chuck Fleischmann, and Jeff Fortenberry are scheduled to speak at the ceremony in a show of bipartisan support for the mission. 

Representatives from the Republic of Georgia, Mexico, and Cambodia are among the international partners expected to be on hand to mark the anniversary.

Learn more about the NSDD and its accomplishments.

See a photo gallery from the event.