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Rail News: Intermodal

DHS, DOE to launch security initiative at overseas ports


Yesterday, the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Energy announced they will soon launch the first phase of the Secure Freight Initiative as a means to improve the federal government’s ability to scan containers for nuclear and radiological materials overseas, and better assess the risk of inbound containers.

Under the initial phase, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Energy (DOE) will deploy nuclear detection devices to six ports in the United Kingdom, Honduras, Pakistan, Oman, Singapore and Korea. Beginning in early 2007, U.S.-bound containers departing from those ports will be scanned for radiation and assessed for potential risks.

Data gathered from the containers will be transmitted in near real-time to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working in the overseas ports and to the DHS National Targeting Center. If the technology or personnel detect suspicious materials, an alert will be sent to both Homeland Security and host country officials.

DHS will allocate $30 million for the radiography equipment and the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will contribute $30 million to fund the installation of radiation portal monitors. DHS will be responsible for installing the necessary communications infrastructure to transmit the data to the United States; NNSA will be responsible for ensuring equipment data is transmitted to the United States.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/8/2006