U.S. and Kenya Agree to Install Radiation Detection Equipment at the Port of Mombasa

Press Release
Apr 15, 2009

U.S. and Kenya Agree to Install Radiation Detection Equipment at the Port of Mombasa

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) signed an agreement to work with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kenya and other Kenyan agencies to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Mombasa.  NNSA will also train Kenyan government officials to use this equipment.

"The Port of Mombasa is a major cargo-container hub in Africa and a strategic transit point in the international maritime trading system," said NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Ken Baker.  "NNSA appreciates the Republic of Kenya's partnership in our efforts to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials."

The Port of Mombasa links the trade corridors of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf, and its strategic location makes it the maritime hub for countries throughout eastern and central Africa.  Work at the Port of Mombasa will be performed under the Megaports Initiative, a key component of NNSA's Second Line of Defense (SLD) Program, which seeks to strengthen the capability of foreign governments to deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials across international borders and through the global maritime shipping system.  The Megaports Initiative provides radiation detection equipment, training, and technical support to key foreign seaports to enable them to scan cargo containers for nuclear and other radioactive materials.

The Megaports Initiative is currently operational in 21 ports, and work is underway at over 20 additional ports in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

A fact sheet on NNSA's Second Line of Defense program is available.

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.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371