Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Lithuania to Receive U.S. Radiation Detectors
The United States is set to provide Lithuania with portable and fixed-location radiation sensors under a newly signed agreement to bolster joint work by the countries on combating illicit nuclear material transfers, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced yesterday (see GSN, Feb. 9, 2004).
The atomic agency would provide training to prepare Lithuanian personnel to spot, intercept and analyze radiological materials under the Implementation Agreement on Cooperation in Preventing Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material. The Lithuanian State Border Guard Service and the NNSA Second Line of Defense program since 2003 have pursued updates for radiation detection gear at certain facilities.
“Our continued partnership with Lithuania and this latest agreement represents our shared effort to prevent dangerous nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators,” NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington said in a press release. “By preventing terrorists or would-be proliferators from smuggling nuclear materials across international borders, we are working to implement President Obama’s unprecedented nuclear security agenda while promoting peace and security around the world” (see GSN, Feb. 22).
The Obama administration's fiscal 2012 budget request includes $2.5 billion for NNSA nuclear nonproliferation activities, the release noted (see GSN, Feb. 15; U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release I, Feb. 22).
Meanwhile, the nuclear agency in a separate statement announced the establishment of a U.S.-backed training center in the United Arab Emirates for nuclear energy security, safety and monitoring measures.
Based at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute is expected to first limit its work to three atomic entities in the United Arab Emirates. Beginning next year, the site would allow participation by all six Gulf Cooperation Council member nations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The project grew from the increasing interest by Persian Gulf states in atomic energy, according to a press release.
"Creating strong international partnerships that promote a culture of safety, security and safeguards and provide future decision-makers with expert training in nonproliferation is an important part of implementing the president's nuclear security agenda,” Harrington said in released remarks. “The creation of GNEII is a perfect example of the sort of partnerships that help implement the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit goals by strengthening domestic regulatory capacity in countries pursuing nuclear energy programs.”
The center has received support from the NNSA Nonproliferation and International Security Office, the U.S. State Department, the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, Texas A&M; University and various UAE organizations (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release II, Feb. 22).
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