Accession Number:



Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Has Made Some Progress but Not Yet Completed a Strategic Plan for Its Global Nuclear Detection Efforts or Closed Identified Gaps

Descriptive Note:

Congressional testimony

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



In April 2005, a Presidential Directive established the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office DNDO within the Department of Homeland Security DHS to enhance and coordinate federal, state, and local efforts to combat nuclear smuggling abroad and domestically. DNDO was directed to develop, in coordination with the departments of Defense, Energy, and State, an enhanced global nuclear detection system of radiation detection equipment and interdiction activities. DNDO refers to this system as an architecture. DNDO is to implement the domestic portion of the architecture. Federal efforts to combat nuclear smuggling have largely focused on established ports of entry, such as seaports and land border crossings, and DNDO has also been examining nuclear detection strategies along other pathways. Over the past 7 years, GAO has issued numerous recommendations on nuclear or radiological detection to the Secretary of Homeland Security, most recently in January 2009. This testimony discusses the status of DHS efforts to do the following 1 complete the deployment of radiation detection equipment to scan all cargo and conveyances entering the United States at ports of entry, 2 prevent the smuggling of nuclear or radiological materials via the critical gaps DNDO identified, and 3 develop a strategic plan for the global nuclear detection architecture. GAOs testimony is based on prior work that was updated by obtaining DHS documents and interviewing DHS officials.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Civil Defense
  • Fission Reactor Materials
  • Nuclear Weapons

Distribution Statement: