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Latino Daily News

Wednesday July 25, 2012

U.S.-Mexico Program Launched to Detect Illegal Shipments of Nuclear Materials

U.S.-Mexico Program Launched to Detect Illegal Shipments of Nuclear Materials

Photo: Megaports Initiative

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A program to improve the detection and interdiction of illegal shipments of nuclear materials has been successfully implemented at Mexico’s four main ports, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said.

The Megaports Initiative was implemented by Mexico’s Customs Administration, or SAT, and the U.S. government, the embassy said in a statement.

“The Megaports Initiative is a U.S. Department of Energy program intended to enhance the ability of ports around the world to detect and interdict illicit shipments of special nuclear and other radioactive materials,” the embassy said.

Fixed and portable radiation detectors have been installed at the ports and personnel have been trained to use the equipment with technical support being provided at the key ports.

The Megaports Initiative was implemented in Veracruz, Altamira, Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo, which handle about 92 percent of Mexico’s maritime cargo.

“Cooperation on this project between Mexico’s Customs Administration (SAT) and the Department of Energy began in 2007,” the embassy said.

“The inauguration of the Megaports in these four cities is an illustration of Mexico’s overall commitment to modernize its import and export management system over recent years,” U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Laura F. Dogu said during a ceremony Tuesday at the port of Manzanillo.

The project’s implementation “is also an illustration of the continuing close cooperation between the United States and Mexico to make our shared landmass safer and more secure for the citizens of both countries,” Dogu said.