How ORISE is Making a Difference
ORISE Prepares Nations to Fight Nuclear Smuggling
With the knowledge needed to incorporate radiological materials in an explosive device now widely available and unsecured stockpiles still a reality, nuclear smuggling remains a global security threat. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) has extended its national security expertise to assist government leaders and law enforcement in many countries as they unite in efforts to apprehend and prosecute nuclear materials smugglers.
The U.S. Department of State’s Preventing Nuclear Smuggling Program helps countries develop their capabilities to effectively stop nuclear smuggling. The PNSP began its partership with ORISE in 2009 to provide workshops that help foreign governments enhance their capabilities, equipment, training and plans for stopping the spread of nuclear materials.
ORISE delivered the first two-day workshop in Kazakhstan in early 2009. Consisting of meetings and tabletop exercises, the workshop focused on three smuggling scenarios and explored the technical, political and law enforcement aspects of nuclear smuggling. Following the event, the partnership continues as Kazakhstan collaborates with the PNSP American delegation to continue enhancing its anti-smuggling efforts.
ORAU and the PNSP have since held similar workshops in Armenia, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as other countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa. During a recent U.S. Department of Energy and European Commission Nuclear Forensics Awareness Workshop, ORAU and the PNSP facilitated a table-top exercise for attendees from the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. These sessions have helped to strengthen global efforts to counter nuclear smuggling. Working with the U.S. Department of Energy, ORISE has supported other outreach for countries including Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
Through another program at home, ORISE is also applying its expertise in radiological detection and security to stop the unauthorized transport of nuclear materials and protect the United States’ critical infrastructure. Working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ORISE provides training in detection and containment of radiological materials to law enforcement tasked with protecting major U.S. transportation hubs.