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Today, the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Romania’s Ministry of Internal Affairs celebrated the commencement of operations of the radiation detection system located at Henri Coandă International Airport near Bucharest. To mark the occasion, U.S. Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Duane Butcher, Romanian Minister of Internal Affairs Gabriel Oprea, and other senior officials led a joint ceremony. The partnership demonstrates the strong commitment of Romania’s government to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking of nuclear materials through its border control points.
“The new radiation detection system at Henri Coandă International Airport clearly demonstrates the will of the government of Romania to expand and deepen its commitment to preventing unlawful nuclear transit through its territory,” said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “This program is yet another significant milestone in our longstanding cooperation since 2008, and NNSA looks forward to fruitful collaboration in the future to keep dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of proliferators, smugglers, and terrorists.”
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Romanian Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform signed an agreement to cooperate in preventing illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material in Romania. The NNSA’s Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence program (NSDD) (formerly Second Line of Defense) has worked together with the Romania’s General Inspectorate of Border Police to deploy radiation detection systems at the Port of Constanța, a training center in Iasi, and key border crossings. Cooperation also includes joint training, practical exercises, and sustainability initiatives. Since 2010, the detection systems have scanned more than ten million vehicles, pedestrians, and shipping containers. Additionally, NSDD has deployed six mobile radiation detection systems and is continuing to work with Romania to equip additional sites with fixed detection equipment.
NSDD 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.
Cooperation with Romania is an important part of the NNSA’s long standing nuclear security cooperation in central Europe and falls under the March 30, 1998 agreement, as amended, between the U.S. and Romanian governments to cooperate in the area of counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the promotion of defense and military relations.
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, 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. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.