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11/01/2005 | Bahamas signs on with seaport nuclear detection program

Martin Edwin Andersen

The Megaports accord with the U.S. Department of Energy is the sixth with a foreign government, but a first in the Caribbean

 

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas has become the first country in the Caribbean to install special equipment designed to detect hidden cargos of nuclear and other radioactive material at one of the its busiest seaports, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today.

The move came after the two countries recently signed an agreement to deploy the detection system as part of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration Megaports Initiative, a program is designed to help foreign governments to deter, detect, and interdict illegal shipments of nuclear materials.

"Helping better protect the world's maritime shipping network from nuclear smuggling is an important objective we are working to achieve," U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in a press statement.

"Cooperating with the Bahamian government will enable our countries to further international nonproliferation efforts and better protect the citizens of the Bahamas, the United States and other countries against nuclear terrorism," Abraham added.

"Successful detection of radioactive materials as they cross a country's borders is fundamental in stopping a nuclear or dirty bomb attack," he said.

Under the Megaports Initiative, NNSA works with foreign governments to equip seaports with radiation detection equipment, as well as to provide training to local law enforcement officials.

The agreement with the Bahamas is the sixth cooperative accord reached by the NNSA with a foreign government--the Netherlands, Greece, Sri Lanka, Belgium and Spain already have detection programs underway .

Martin Edwin Andersen can be reached via Mick_Andersen@portsecuritynews.com

Copyright © 2005 Port Security News

Port Security News is a trademark of USCongress.org.

Port Security News (Estados Unidos)

 


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