NNSA participates in Workshop on Nonproliferation Nuclear Forensics in Bangkok

The National Nuclear Security Administration recently participated in the Workshop on Nonproliferation Nuclear Forensics, which sought to help deter illicit trafficking of nuclear materials in the Asian-Pacific region.

The workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand, and hosted by the ARF with help from the NNSA, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre Institute for Transuranium Elements and the Kingdom of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of Atoms for Peace. Fifty-five people from 17 countries attended the workshop, and it was the second time the workshop was held alongside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum.

"With more than forty percent of the world's seaborne trade alone flowing through Asia and the Pacific, countries in the region risk becoming conduits for the illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials," NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington said. "Nuclear security and trafficking challenges recognize no national borders and cannot be resolved strictly through national assets, thus a regional approach to developing nuclear forensics capabilities will be an essential tool for authorities."

The workshop focused on the creation of strong nuclear forensics capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region through collaboration with regional forces, such as governments and international agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Southeast Asia will be an increasingly important transportation and travel hub that will rely on greater regional cooperation to prevent illicit smuggling activities," ASEAN Deputy Director-General to the Department of Affairs in Thailand Busadee Santipitaks said. "Thailand has been engaged with ASEAN on a number of activities to promote safe and secure peaceful uses of nuclear sciences and technology in the region."