NNSA signs agreement with Peru to prevent nuclear smuggling

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced an agreement on Tuesday with Peru's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start a cooperative effort to detect, deter and interdict the illicit smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Peru's Minister of Foreign Affairs Eda Rivas Franchini signed the agreement when Peruvian President Ollanta Humala recently visited the U.S.

"The signing of this agreement with Peru represents our shared commitment to important global nonproliferation efforts that will help to keep dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators," Moniz said. "Peru plays a key role in the region's maritime shipping and our cooperation will be a critical step forward in enhancing not only the security in the region but also that of the global maritime network."

The agreement allows NNSA's Second Line of Defense program to work with the Peruvian Nuclear Energy Institute and other Peruvian agencies to install a radiation detection system at the Port of Callo. The program will install specialized equipment to scan cargo containers for dangerous radiological and nuclear materials. The NNSA will also train Peruvian officials to use the equipment while providing ongoing maintenance support.

The SLD program works with partner countries to combat illicit nuclear trafficking at international border crossings and checkpoints. The program equipped 500 sites in more than 50 countries with the specialized detection equipment.