Container 'Dirty Bomb' Screening Taking Place in Honduras, Pakistan

Operational testing of cargo container screening for nuclear or radiological materials is under way in Honduras and Pakistan, the departments of Homeland Security and Energy announced April 11. The screening is done on shipping containers before they are allowed to depart for the United States.

This is the initial phase of the $60 million Secure Freight Initiative, announced Dec. 7, 2006, which is deploying nuclear detection devices to six foreign ports. "Terrorists and criminals use global shipping networks, and we are deploying multiple layers of advanced technology to counter their tactics," Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson said. "Secure Freight creates a global nuclear detection network with shippers, carriers, and foreign allies to head off the worst possible form of attack, a nuclear or dirty bomb on our soil. We are deeply grateful to the governments of Honduras and Pakistan, as well as our other Secure Freight Initiative partners, for their strong leadership on this effort."

Testing began April 2 in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, while tests in Port Qasim, Pakistan, began last month. The other Secure Freight Initiative ports are Southampton, England; Salalah, Oman; the Port of Singapore; and the Gamman Terminal at Port Busan, Korea. Data from these scan are transmitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers working in overseas ports and to the National Targeting Center.

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