Today the United States Embassy in Bulgaria, representatives of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the United States Department of Energy (DOE), and the Bulgarian government celebrated the completion of Bulgaria’s nuclear detection architecture. To mark the occasion, Ambassador Eric Rubin, Deputy Interior Minister Philip Gunev, and other dignitaries gathered at Sofia airport to highlight the successful implementation of 27 radiation detection systems at locations across Bulgaria. The United States Government has donated all of this equipment to Bulgaria’s Border Police at a cost of approximately $35 million.
“The U.S. Government and its international partners are actively working to combat this threat. After eight years of close cooperation between the Government of Bulgaria and the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, together we have completed the installation of radiation detection systems at all of Bulgaria’s major points-of-entry – land, sea, and air,” said United States Ambassador, Eric Rubin.
Since 2008, NNSA and the Ministry of Interior’s Chief Directorate of Border Police (MOI/CDBP) have deployed fixed and mobile radiation detection systems to official and unofficial POEs along Bulgaria’s borders as well as at its international airports. They have trained over 3000 front-line officers to operate these systems and respond to radiation alarms. They have also implemented an information system that transmits alarm data from Points of Entry to MOI/CDBP’s national and regional headquarters. This multilayered nuclear detection architecture has enabled a professional, committed partner in a strategic location to participate effectively in the fight against nuclear smuggling.
Through its Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence, NNSA provides partner-countries with the tools and training necessary to counter nuclear smuggling, making an essential contribution to the global nuclear detection architecture. It does this by installing radiation detection systems at high-priority locations around the world and by building a community of states that possess an indigenous capacity to deter, detect, and interdict nuclear and radioactive materials.