Deployment of Counter-Smuggling Equipment Promotes Internal Nuclear Security

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, December 6, 2021 – U.S. Ambassador John Mark Pommersheim and a representative of the State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan (SCNS), participated in an equipment handover ceremony at the Regional Training Center of Tajikistan’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Safety and Security Agency in Dushanbe.  The security support and radiation detection equipment and associated trainings, provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence, will help Tajikistan’s security forces combat the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive material into and within Tajikistan.

“I am pleased to announce a new milestone in cooperation between our two nations in the area of international nuclear security.  Today we are showcasing the first phase of assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy to the State Committee for National Security.  This is an important step in advancing U.S.-Tajik security cooperation,” said Ambassador Pommersheim.

DOE/NNSA contributes a broad range of experience, expertise, and tools to support partners in developing national comprehensive detection programs to prevent and interdict illicit movement of nuclear and radioactive materials.  Since 2013, DOE/NNSA has invested over $12 million U.S. dollars in counter-nuclear smuggling projects in Tajikistan.  In addition to the new partnership with the SCNS, DOE/NNSA continues to cooperate with the State Customs Service, the State Border Guards, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the CBRN Safety and Security Agency under the Academy of Sciences to further develop Tajikistan’s ability to combat the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials.

The newly deployed equipment to the SCNS, valued over $1 million USD, includes a state-of-the-art mobile radiation detection unit, portable and handheld detection systems, surveillance gear, and vehicle inspection kits, as well as associated training and maintenance support, that will complement the SCNS’s counter-smuggling operations throughout the country.  In 2022, DOE/NNSA will also conduct a joint training with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to strengthen Tajik agencies’ law enforcement investigations in response to nuclear smuggling incidents.

“The United States and Tajikistan cooperate closely on counternarcotics and counterterrorism to secure the borders of Tajikistan, while facilitating the legitimate flow of people and goods.  With this important new capability, we will further expand our collaboration to combat smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials,” Ambassador Pommersheim said.