Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Megaports Initiative installations completed at Kaohsiung Harbor

More than 90 percent of global commerce is transported through the maritime shipping network via cargo containers, with about 500 million twenty-foot-equivalent units transiting the globe annually

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday announced that the installation of equipment to detect radiation at Kaohsiung Harbor had been completed, bringing Taiwan online as part of global efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Under the auspices of the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), the Second Line of Defense Megaports Initiative provides radiation detection equipment and training at major ports worldwide to strengthen the capability of the international community to detect and interdict trafficking in nuclear material through maritime shipping.

Better known by its shorter name, the Megaports Initiative equips ports with radiation portal monitors for the detection of radiation, handheld devices to identify radioactive isotope, optical character recognition technology to identify containers, communications equipment to send data to a central alarm station, as well as training and technical support.

The Megaports Initiative, which brings in customs, law enforcement, port authorities, terminal operators and other government agencies, is now operational in 34 ports worldwide, with work under way at 18 other ports in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Megaports Initiative seeks to equip 100 seaports with radiation detection systems by 2016, scanning about 50 percent of global maritime containerized cargo and more than 80 percent of US-bound container traffic.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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