Program Improves Nuclear Material Detection Capabilities Around the World
National Nuclear Security Administration
U.S. Department of Energy
October 1, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has completed installation and testing of radiation detection systems at four new ports this month: Ashdod, Israel; Lisbon, Portugal; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Port Klang, Malaysia. This new equipment is part of a global effort to implement President Obama’s commitment to prevent nuclear terrorism by securing dangerous nuclear material around the world.
“These four new operational Megaports bring us closer to our goal of equipping 100 ports with radiation detection equipment by 2015 while helping us strengthen our capability to prevent nuclear and radiological smuggling throughout the global maritime system,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas P. D’Agostino. “The Megaports Initiative is a critical part of NNSA’s efforts to implement President Obama’s unprecedented commitment to securing vulnerable nuclear material and keeping it out of the hands of terrorists, smugglers and proliferators. The success of this program is due in no small part to continued and future cooperation among and support from our international partners.”
The addition of four new Megaports will improve NNSA’s ability to monitor cargo in the global maritime shipping system. The strategic location of the ports linking the Middle East, Europe, and East Asia underscores the importance of the operations to increasing international maritime security.
The work is part of NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program’s Megaports Initiative, which aims to strengthen the capability of foreign governments to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials transiting the global maritime shipping system. The Megaports Initiative provides radiation detection equipment, training, and technical support to key international seaports to scan cargo containers for nuclear and other radioactive materials. The installation of radiation detection systems at these four new locations represents a significant step forward for the Megaports Initiative, which is now operational at 27 ports around the world. Work is underway at additional ports in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.