STCU News and Announcements
GUAM Regional Workshop on Nuclear Forensics Support to Prosecutions of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Smuggling310/353
27 Sep 2017 - 29 Sep 2017
Gathering of Regional Experts Explores Tools for Bringing Nuclear Smugglers to Justice
Kyiv, Ukraine –
On September 27-29, 2017, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of WMD Terrorism, in cooperation with the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), sponsored a capacity building workshop focused on how nuclear forensics can support investigations and prosecutions of cases involving the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Participants included scientific and legal experts from Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova (GUAM), the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, and the Swedish Defense Research Agency. The U.S. delegation included experts from the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Energy, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The international community considers it a serious and continuing threat that terrorists might acquire the nuclear or other radioactive material needed to construct an improvised nuclear device or radiological weapon, making the smuggling of such materials a critical security issue. Smuggling can occur without regard to national boundaries, so investigating and prosecuting nuclear smugglers requires countries to work together. Additionally, since nuclear forensics analyses can help governments establish connections between materials, people, places and events, close coordination between technical and legal experts is essential. Participants at the event in Kyiv reaffirmed the importance of such coordination.
Through presentations, discussions, case studies, and an interactive mock trial exercise, the multilateral, multi-disciplinary gathering reviewed nuclear forensics concepts and applications and examined legal requirements for effectively investigating and prosecuting nuclear smuggling. They exchanged views on best practices in these efforts and identified opportunities for continued regional collaboration on the issues involved.
The United States has partnerships with all four countries to collaborate on a broad range of counter nuclear smuggling activities. The workshop in Kyiv helped to advance these cooperative efforts and, in turn, strengthen regional and global security by enhancing international capabilities to investigate and prosecute nuclear and radiological smugglers.