European Union Supports Nuclear Security in the Republic of Tajikistan (23/10/2015)

Modern systems to detect trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials are installed at Tajik borders.

Dushanbe, October 23rd 2015 - Under the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) the European Union has supported the Republic of Tajikistan with its Border Monitoring capabilities in Nuclear Security.

Six border crossing points (road and railway borders) selected by the Tajik authorities are now equipped with Radiation Portal Monitors able to detect any illicit trafficking and inadvertent movement of nuclear and radioactive materials. The Tajik Customs Training center was also equipped.

The Tajik borders crossings can also use a new Mobile Laboratory fully equipped with sensitive detection instruments for measurement and analysis of nuclear and radioactive materials, which was also provided by EU. While it can be deployed regionally, the laboratory also serves as a national expert laboratory to support investigations following detection events.

The EU has provided the necessary trainings both for operation and for maintenance of the equipment. Training sessions have taken place in Tajikistan and in Europe at the European Union's Nuclear Security Training Centre in Ispra (Italy).

The Tajik beneficiary of the project is the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency which is the national nuclear regulatory body of the Republic of Tajikistan and the end-users are the Tajik Customs. The cooperation between the EU and Tajikistan in this field began five years ago and is closely coordinated with other international organisations and partners such as the IAEA and the US DoE/DoS.

The equipment supply project includes a contract worth 1.5 million Euros for particular equipment which was signed in December 2014 by the EU in December 2014 with Polimaster (Belarusian Company). The full project, including training, supply and installation of equipment has been accomplished within one year.

During the closure ceremony of the project held in BCP “Dusti” bordering with Uzbekistan, Tursunzoda city  on 23 October the Tajik officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan,  Customs Service under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency under Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan and Main Division of Border Forces under the State Committee of National Security of the Republic of Tajikistan expressed gratitude for this important help provided by the European Union which will both help make border personnel more safe and contribute to peace and stability in the area.  



In May 2015, Site Acceptance Tests of the supplied and installed equipment were carried out in Panij Poyon and Dusti border crossing points as well as in the Tajik Customs Training Centre in Dushanbe where one vehicle-mounted Radiation Portal Monitor was installed for training purposes. In July 2015, a second series of Site Acceptance Tests took place successfully in Nov, Konibodom and Fotehobod border crossings. Train Radiation Portal Monitors were installed and tested both in Nov and Konibodom while one Vehicle and one Pedestrian Radiation Portal Monitors were tested in Fotehobod.

In October 2015, the last activities of the project took place which included Site Acceptance tests on a train Radiation Portal Monitor installed at Pakhtaobod border crossing point as well as on a Mobile Laboratory in the Tajik Customs Training Centre in Ayni settlement. Additionally Tajik Customs Officers were invited and attended an advanced training on nuclear security which was also offered by EU within the project.