NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A shipment of deuterium cylinders were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Norfolk on Oct. 18 for violating nuclear nonproliferation licensing laws.

Deuterium is used in military, industrial, and scientific applications and requires a license to be exported to China.

CBP discovered the deuterium on the manifest of a shipping container destined for China. While inspecting the container, CBP officers found 10 gas cylinders of deuterium and one cylinder of deuterium silane.

“This seizure demonstrates how Customs and Border Protection contributes our border and trade facilitation authorities to assist partner agencies in intercepting illicit, and potentially dangerous shipments,” said Mark Laria, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Norfolk – Newport News. “CBP places a significant emphasis on enforcing laws and regulations governing imports and exports because it is vital to the economic and physical security of the United States.”

The deuterium was shipped from Hunterdon County, N.J. Officials assessed its value at a little more than $175,000.