‘The United States and Russia have agreed on a plan to accelerate installation of radiation detection devices at 350 Russian border crossings so the system to prevent nuclear smuggling is fully operational by 2011, U.S. officials said on Friday.
“This announcement is a major cooperative step in counter-proliferation work in Russia,” which contains a major portion of the world’s nuclear material, said Will Tobey, deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, a part of the U.S. Energy Department.
“It will help us prevent smuggling into and out of the region,” he told Reuters in an interview.
Russia identified more than 480 cases of illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material in 2006. While U.S. officials said these cases were not believed to involve weapons-grade nuclear material, the number of cases underscores the scope of the problem.’