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Press Release

NNSA Commissions Radiation Detection Equipment at Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan
Feb 25, 2011


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the successful installation of radiation detection equipment at the Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Working in partnership with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and Taiwan's Ministry of Finance and Directorate General of Customs, the equipment was successfully installed as part of NNSA's Megaports Initiative, which works in more than 35 countries to detect and prevent nuclear smuggling.

“The commissioning of the radiation detection equipment at the Port of Kaohsiung is an important example of our efforts to implement the nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama and our international partners,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Investing in programs like NNSA’s Megaports Initiative is an important part of the global effort to prevent nuclear smuggling and keep terrorists from getting their hands on dangerous nuclear and radiological material.We look forward to working with our international partners to enhance global peace and security.”

Today’s commissioning ceremony is the culmination of nearly five years of work on the Port of Kaohsiung project. In 2006, AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement the Megaports Initiative in Taiwan. Since 2007, NNSA has been working to equip the Port of Kaohsiung with radiation detection equipment, providing training to Taiwan officials on how to operate and maintain the radiation detection system, and educating terminal operators on these materials and their potential danger. The work at Kaohsiung Harbor was supported by technical experts from Sandia, Los Alamos and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories.

Last week, President Obama submitted to Congress the Administration’s FY 2012 budget request, which includes $2.5 billion in FY 2012 and $14.2 billion over the next five years to detect, secure, safeguard, dispose of, and control nuclear and radiological material around the world. Included in that request is $134 million to support NNSA’s Megaports Initiative and its work to prevent nuclear smuggling and strengthen international nuclear security.

The Megaports Initiative is part of NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program, which works collaboratively with foreign governments at border crossings, airports, seaports and other points of entry to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated communications equipment. The SLD Program also provides training to host government border guard officials and other personnel to detect smuggled nuclear and other radioactive materials. NNSA has installed similar equipment at more than 365 sites and at 34 Megaports around the world.

To learn more about the NNSA’s SLD program, click here.

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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.