WASHINGTON, D.C. – Malaysia is beginning new port security measures in cooperation with the United States, according to William Tobey, a senior U.S. nuclear nonproliferation official. Both countries signed an agreement today that commits each to cooperate in preventing the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material in the global maritime shipping system.
The agreement paves the way for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to work with the Royal Malaysia Customs and other government agencies in Malaysia to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at Port Klang and the Port of Tanjung Pelepas. NNSA will also help to train Malaysian government officials to use this equipment. Malaysia's ports are major cargo container hubs in South East Asia and strategic transit points in the international maritime trading system.
"Considering Malaysia's importance in the global maritime shipping system, this agreement is a major step forward in our efforts to prevent nuclear materials from being smuggled into the United States and ports around the world," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey. "NNSA appreciates Malaysia's willingness to cooperate with us in this critical mission."
This effort is part of the NNSA's Second Line of Defense program, which provides radiation detection systems at strategic locations around the world to help combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The program has installed radiation detection equipment at over 160 locations to date, and has provided training in the operations and maintenance of the equipment. The program also provides training in detection, identification, and interdiction of nuclear and radiological materials. The specialized radiation-detection technology is part of the Bush administration's overall efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce 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 United States and abroad.
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