WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States and Singapore announced their cooperation today to enhance existing efforts to scan U.S.-bound cargo and help prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material. The Port of Singapore is one of the largest transshipment ports in the world.
The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will provide radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure and help to train the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Singapore officials to use this equipment.
"NNSA provides the means for screening more and more cargo to prevent nuclear materials or devices from being smuggled into the United States and ports around the world," said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation William Tobey. "We continue to build on our international partnerships to do so."
The announcement establishes the U.S. government's Secure Freight Initiative (SFI) in the Brani Terminal at the Port of Singapore. The initiative, which is aimed at keeping dangerous, smuggled material out of U.S.-bound cargo, is a joint effort implemented overseas between NNSA, CBP and the Department of State.
SFI was established to evaluate the feasibility of scanning 100 percent of all cargo bound for the United States with radiation detection and non-intrusive imaging equipment. Through NNSA's Megaports Initiative, full operational testing of SFI equipment began in October of 2007 at Port Qasim in Pakistan, Puerto Cortés in Honduras and at the Port of Southampton in the United Kingdom.
Singapore is part of the second group of international partners assisting NNSA and CBP in evaluating integrated cargo radiation detection and non-intrusive imaging capabilities. The new arrangement will be on a pilot basis in Singapore at the Brani Terminal, with a focus on scanning transshipment cargo.
Ports in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Oman are also implementing SFI in a limited, pilot capacity. The results of the four pilot projects will be used to provide guidance on future expansions of SFI, and to help the U.S. determine the impact of radiation and non-intrusive imaging scanning at large ports.
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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