US, Argentine sign agreement to prevent nuclear smuggling
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 12:57
Washington: The United States and Argentine Wednesday agreed to begin a cooperative effort to detect, deter and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material.

An agreement in this regard was signed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit that concluded on Wednesday.

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu was also present.

The agreement paves the way for the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to work with Argentine Customs to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Buenos Aires.

In a statement, the State Department said, the Megaports Agreement solidifies the United States' and Argentina's joint commitment to the safety and security of the two countries.

As part of NNSA's Second Line of Defence Programme's Megaports Initiative, this agreement will help NNSA meet its goal of equipping 100 ports with radiation detection equipment, it said.

The Megaports Initiative provides radiation detection equipment, training and technical support to key international seaports to scan cargo containers for nuclear and other radioactive materials.

The installation of radiation detection systems in Argentina represents a significant step forward for the Megaports Initiative, which is now operational at 30 ports around the world.

Work is underway at additional ports in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the State Department said.


First Published: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 12:57

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