U.S., Mexico sign nuke smuggling agreement

April 17, 2007

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and Mexican Minister of Finance and Public Credit Agustin Carstens signed a pact to halt nuclear materials smuggling.

The Megaports agreement is designed to aid the detection and prevention of the smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material. It calls for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to collaborate with Mexican Customs officials in the installation of radiation detection equipment at four Mexican seaports that account for nearly 90 percent of container traffic in Mexico.

"The Megaports Agreement ... solidifies the United States and Mexico's joint commitment to the safety, security and prosperity of our nations," Bodman said. "This initiative builds on our ongoing cooperation to advance non-proliferation by deploying advanced technologies to reduce the threat of illegal shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials into our countries."

Officials said the Megaports program is designed to help nations install specialized radiation detection equipment at international seaports. The initiative is operational in eight nations, with operational testing underway in three countries and at various stages of implementation and negotiations with approximately 13 other nations.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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