Practical Exercise for Mastering the Operational Response to Trafficking of Radioactive Materials

        On 30 September and 1 October, EUBAM, in cooperation with Ukrainian and Moldovan national nuclear and radiological agencies facilitated the implementation of a practical exercise for mastering operational response by border guard/police and customs officers to effectively tackle trafficking of radioactive materials at the Moldova-Ukraine border. The objective of the exercise was to strengthen the capability of law enforcement to detect and intercept the smuggling of radiological and nuclear materials as being moved across the border

        The exercise was held on both sides of the border, namely at Criva and Mamalyha border crossing points, as well as the adjacent border area, with the strict observance of the COVID-19 restrictive measures. During the two-day exercise, EUBAM experts shared their experience on the trafficking involving radioactive materials and assisted the national authorities in enhancing their practical skills and capabilities by developing different scenarios as close to reality as possible. Together, the parties have also verified and improved the information exchange systems as well as the data sharing existing mechanisms for cooperation at the national and international levels.

        All the details of the exercise were established during the online preparatory meeting facilitated by EUBAM, on 8 September, with participation of border, customs and nuclear regulatory agencies of both countries.

        “Criminal and unauthorized activities involving nuclear and radioactive materials represent a threat to states’ security worldwide. Despite the efforts taken by law enforcement agencies, the likelihood of the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials remains due to the increased availability of misappropriated radiological sources from different conflict zones and their further trade. Such shipments may present health and safety threats both to the persons involved and to the public.”, stated Slawomir Pichor, Head of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).