Friday, December 12, 2008

U.S., Djibouti to Cooperate Against Nuclear Smuggling

The United States has agreed to deploy radiation detectors at a major port in Djibouti as part of an ongoing effort to deter smuggling of potential nuclear weapons materials, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced today.

“This agreement highlights the shared commitment of the United States and the Republic of Djibouti to combat nuclear terrorism,” NNSA Deputy Administrator William Tobey said in a press release. “The Port of Djibouti plays an important role in the global maritime shipping system by linking Europe, the Far East, Africa and the Persian Gulf. Djibouti’s strategic location as a crossroads between East and West underscores the importance of this agreement to increase international maritime security.”

Along with installing the technology, NNSA personnel would train workers in the African nation on its use.

The deployment is planned under the U.S. agency's Second Line of Defense program, which is intended to help other nations prevent terrorists from acquiring sensitive materials. Technology has been fielded in 19 ports through the Megaports Initiative and deployment efforts are continuing at more than 20 additional sites around the world (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, Dec. 11).


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