The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Customs Administration of Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Taiwan Megaports program at the Port of Kaohsiung during a ceremony held on December 13, 2016.
The event, led by AIT Deputy Director Robert Forden and Taiwan Customs Administration Director-General Liao Chao-hsiang, commemorated the success over the past decade of the Taiwan Megaports program, a U.S.-Taiwan cooperative effort that strengthens Taiwan’s ability to detect, investigate and deter illicit nuclear and radiological materials.
The Taiwan Megaports program began in 2006 through a series of Memoranda of Understanding between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The Department of Energy spent close to USD 55 million to implement the Taiwan Megaports program, funding training and the installation of monitoring equipment at the Port of Kaohsiung, including 38 Radiation Portal Monitors, handheld radiation-detection equipment, wireless communications equipment, and a Central Alarm Station which controls and monitors the system.
Due to its strategic location and the high volume of maritime goods that move through its port, Kaohsiung is a natural fit for the Megaports program. Thanks to the radiation-detection instruments installed through the Megaports program, Kaohsiung has prevented numerous radiological hazards from entering Taiwan over the past 10 years, and has turned away hundreds of radiation-contaminated containers.
Taiwan’s Customs Administration assumed full ownership of the Megaports program in September 2013, and has maintained vigilance in protecting the people of Taiwan and international container shipments, including shipments bound for the United States, from nuclear and radiological threats.
Many organizations contribute to the success of the Taiwan Megaports Program, including AIT, TECRO, Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance, the Atomic Energy Council, and the Taiwan International Ports Corporation.