US, Argentine sign agreement to prevent nuclear smuggling

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.

PTI



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

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