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United States, People’s Republic of China Commission First Radiation Detection System at the Port of Yangshan

December 07, 2011

SHANGHAI, CHINA –National Nuclear
Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Thomas D’Agostino joined Vice Minister Lu Peijun of the
General Administration of Customs and other
Chinese officials to commission the first Chinese installation of port
radiation detection equipment at the Port of Yangshan outside of Shanghai last
night. D’Agostino and his Chinese hosts celebrated the port commissioning in a
ceremony and reviewed the procedures Chinese custom officials would use in the
event of an alarm.

The
specialized equipment was installed by NNSA in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy
in Beijing, the General Administration of Customs, China (GACC), and Shanghai
Customs as part of NNSA’s Second Line of Defense (SLD) program.  The equipment has the ability to detect the presence of dangerous nuclear and
other radioactive materials contained in cargo containers passing through the
port. The detection of these materials will help to prevent the smuggling and
proliferation of dangerous nuclear and radioactive materials that can be used
in weapons or improvised nuclear devises.

“Our partnership with the People’s
Republic of China at the Port of Yangshan demonstrates the shared commitment to
combating nuclear terrorism and proliferation,” said NNSA Administrator
D’Agostino. “The successful installation of radiation detection equipment at
one of the major shipping hubs in Asia highlights the importance of working
together as an international community to address the global threat of nuclear
and radiological smuggling. This accomplishment is a major milestone in our
efforts to implement President Obama’s nuclear security agenda and example for
other nations who want to show leadership on nuclear security issues.  It was encouraging to meet with Vice Minister Peijun, talk with other Chinese officials about our shared nuclear security
objectives, and see the port in action.”

Under a 2005 agreement between the
United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), NNSA’s Megaports
Initiative has been working with the GACC and Shanghai Customs to install
radiation detection equipment that will deter, detect, and interdict illicit
shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials that might move through
the Port of Yangshan. With this specialized equipment, one of the
highest-volume ports in Asia is now able to
scan 100% of exports and China Customs can respond to all radiation
alarms. 

The Megaports Initiative’s work at the
Port of Yangshan is part of NNSA’s SLD Program, which works collaboratively
with foreign governments at land border crossings, airports, and seaports worldwide
to install specialized radiation detection equipment and associated
communications equipment. The SLD Program also provides training to host
government border guard officials and other personnel to detect smuggled
nuclear and other radioactive materials. NNSA has installed similar equipment
at more than 350 sites and at 40 Megaports around the world.

For a fact sheet on NNSA’s Second Line
of Defense Program, click here.

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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.