PR-0958E | Nov. 17, 2009
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will hold the opening ceremony for the Megaports Initiative at the Port of Kaohsiung on November 18, 2009.
AIT Director William A. Stanton, Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ho and Elly Melamed, Deputy Director, Office of Second Line of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration are scheduled to attend the opening ceremony.
In voluntary cooperation with international partners, Megaports enhances the partner’s capability to screen containerized cargo for nuclear and other radioactive materials that could potentially be exploited by terrorists in a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) or radiological dispersal device. Under the Megaports initiative, partners are provided with radiation portal monitors, related handheld detection devices, optical character recognition (OCR) technology, communications equipment, training, and technical support for key ports.
In 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) to implement the Megaports Initiative in Taiwan. The Megaports Initiative began at the Port of Kaohsiung due to its strategic location, role as a key transshipment point and the port’s high volume.
Since 2007, DOE, through AIT, has been working to equip the Port of Kaohsiung with radiation detection equipment, providing training to Taiwan officials on how to operate and maintain the radiation detection system, and raising awareness of the terminal operators of the potential danger of these materials. In close cooperation with the Port of Kaohsiung stakeholders, the goal is to outfit the port with radiation detection monitors (RPM’s) which will screen over 95% of all container traffic.