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Participants at the radiological table-top exercise

2nd Regional Table-top Exercise Marks Completion of 1st Phase of CONTACT – Black Sea Project

Turin, Italy -


The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) held the 2nd Regional table-top exercise (TTX) on preventing the smuggling of radiological materials by organized criminal groups from 25 to 27 March. This marked the end of the first phase of the CONTACT-Black Sea project.

Twenty representatives from agencies responsible for countering radiological and nuclear (RN) tracking in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine engaged in the exercise to assess and enhance the countries’ capabilities in inter-agency coordination and cooperation with other countries in the region in the event of criminal incidents involving radiological sources.

The scenario of the exercise involved a cross-border attempt to smuggle radiological material. It aimed to simulate a radiological incident and investigation, providing an environment as close to real cases as possible. The participants' objective was to analyze the information received and make decisions on the subsequent steps.

During the event participants and project team discussed the outcomes of the project, shared their opinions about the positive impact on RN security in the region and presented new project ideas reflecting the current challenges in the region.

“The war in Ukraine has not only caused immeasurable human suffering but has also heightened concerns about the nuclear security in the region both because of targeting of the nuclear facilities as well as radiological and nuclear materials falling out of governmental control in the areas that were or still are under occupation of the Russian Federation,” said Mr. Leif Villadsen, Acting Director of UNICRI.

“It is precisely in the face of such threats that initiatives like CONTACT gain importance. This project serves as an important instrument, fostering regional cooperation and strengthening the capabilities of our partners to safeguard against the illicit trafficking of radiological and nuclear materials,” he added.


On 1 June 2020, UNICRI officially launched the project “CONTACT - Black Sea: Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear material in the Black Sea region”. The CONTACT - Black Sea project aims to enhance the capacities of security and law enforcement officials in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to prevent and counter trafficking of radiological and nuclear material and foster regional cooperation and exchange of information on RN trafficking-related incidents. The project is implemented by UNICRI and jointly funded by UK DESNZ, DSA and DTRA.