Radiation Detection Project will Help Prevent Smuggling of Nuclear Material
SHANGHAI, CHINA –National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino joined Vice Minister Lu Peijun of the General Administration of Customs and other Chinese officials to commission the first Chinese installation of port radiation detection equipment at the Port of Yangshan outside of Shanghai last night. D’Agostino and his Chinese hosts celebrated the port commissioning in a ceremony and reviewed the procedures Chinese custom officials would use in the event of an alarm.
The specialized equipment was installed by NNSA in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the General Administration of Customs, China (GACC), and Shanghai Customs as part of NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program. The equipment has the ability to detect the presence of dangerous nuclear and other radioactive materials contained in cargo containers passing through the port. The detection of these materials will help to prevent the smuggling and proliferation of dangerous nuclear and radioactive materials that can be used in weapons or improvised nuclear devises.
“Our partnership with the People’s Republic of China at the Port of Yangshan demonstrates the shared commitment to combating nuclear terrorism and proliferation,” said NNSA Administrator D’Agostino. “The successful installation of radiation detection equipment at one of the major shipping hubs in Asia highlights the importance of working together as an international community to address the global threat of nuclear and radiological smuggling. This accomplishment is a major milestone in our efforts to implement President Obama’s nuclear security agenda and example for other nations who want to show leadership on nuclear security issues. It was encouraging to meet with Vice Minister Peijun, talk with other Chinese officials about our shared nuclear security objectives, and see the port in action.”
Under a 2005 agreement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), NNSA’s Megaports Initiative has been working with the GACC and Shanghai Customs to install radiation detection equipment that will deter, detect, and interdict illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials that might move through the Port of Yangshan. With this specialized equipment, one of the highest-volume ports in Asia is now able to scan 100% of exports and China Customs can respond to all radiation alarms.
The Megaports Initiative’s work at the Port of Yangshan is part of NNSA’s SLD Program, which works collaboratively with foreign governments at land border crossings, airports, and seaports worldwide 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 350 sites and at 40 Megaports around the world.
For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program, click here.
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.