A front-line officer in Bulgaria performs a vehicle inspection with a portable radiation detection system.
A front-line officer in Bulgaria performs a vehicle inspection with a portable radiation detection system.

In the wrong hands, lost or stolen radioactive and nuclear materials can be smuggled and used in acts of terrorism and mass disruption. NNSA’s Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) works with partner countries to detect, disrupt, and investigate the smuggling of radioactive and nuclear materials that could be used in these acts of terrorism.

Several countries possess radioactive and nuclear material of their own, and even more countries are at risk of having radioactive and nuclear material smuggled through their borders. Integrating radioactive and nuclear detection capabilities into existing security operations at borders and in the interior can enhance a partner country’s national security by building a layered defense strategy.

Comprehensive capacity building

NSDD provides partners with comprehensive solutions to counter radioactive and nuclear smuggling. For example, NSDD may provide border security and law enforcement agencies with mobile radiation detection systems installed in vehicles to be deployed for intelligence-driven searches and roadside checkpoints. NSDD may also provide mission enabling solutions that increase the partner’s probability of encountering radioactive and nuclear smuggling activity.

NSDD also provides access to in-depth educational and support programs on topics including operation and maintenance of radiation detection systems and mission enabling equipment, development of standard operating procedures and regulations, investigation support, technical peer to peer partnerships, and a wide variety of customized tabletop and field exercises.

Enduring partnerships

NSDD works to connect partners who can support one another on a regional level and encourages this cooperation through cross-border events and exercises. NSDD collaborates with international organizations including INTERPOL, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the European Commission, the United Nations, the World Customs Organization, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. NSDD draws upon the expertise of its National Laboratory scientists to optimize equipment functionality in a wide range of environments and also collaborates with the U.S. Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Defense, among others, to assist our partners in developing and sustaining their counter nuclear smuggling programs.