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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Building on significant international achievements in strengthening the security of nuclear and radioactive materials at their facilities of origin, the need to further strengthen international cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling was discussed at a high-level workshop co-hosted by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the United States Department of State in the run-up to the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.
The workshop advanced the recommendations made at the last International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear security ministerial conference of 2013 and commitments made at the 2010, 2012, and 2014 Nuclear Security Summits and included demonstrations of counter nuclear smuggling capabilities outlined in the 2014 ‘Statement of Activity and Cooperation to Counter Nuclear Smuggling’.
More than 70 participants from 30 countries around the world, as well as representatives from the IAEA, Interpol and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism met at a high-level workshop, organised from 8-10 March 2016 at the JRC's Institute for Transuranium Elements in Karlsruhe, Germany.
The participants shared best practices and lessons learned in leveraging investigative and technical capabilities to counter smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. The experts addressed state of the art approaches and technical challenges associated with detection, response, nuclear forensic analysis and law enforcement investigation of nuclear smuggling incidents. The participants concluded that close cooperation at the national level and international information sharing enable an optimised use of investigative and technical capabilities to effectively counter nuclear smuggling acts, detect nuclear and radioactive material out of regulatory control, and analyse seized material to understand its origin and history, as well as potential linkages with other seizures.