In order to prevent terrorists from using containers for illicitly trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materail, the national nuclear security administration of the US department of Energy lauched the megaports initiative, a second line of defense program at major port around the world.
In an attempt to pormote international cooperation to detect, deter and interdict nuclear and other radioactive material via container smuggling, Megaports Initiatives MOU (the memorandum of understanding) was signed between TECRO (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) and the US on May 25, 2016 to ensure the cargo safety for imports, exports, and transshipments bound for the US or other countries. Accordingly, under safety concern, the Taiwanese goods bound for the US can go through speedy customs clearance, reduce shippers’ costs, and enhance trade competitiveness.
Implementing the Program
Megaports Initiative makes a concerted effort to implement the program in a manner that reduces proliferation threats without disrupting the flow of commerce. The goal of Megaports Initiative is to scan as many containers as possible (including imports, exports, and transshipped containers) regardless of destination and with minimal impact on port operations. The standard operation procedure of Megaports Initiative is as follows:
Radiation Detection Equipment
The radiation detection equipment in kaohsiung includes:
1. radiation portal monitor
2. wireless communications equipment
3. central alarm station
4. handheld radiation detection equipment
When a container truck goes through a RPM, it will generate an alarm if the radiation dose rate exceeds the default threshold and the data will be sent to CAS. CAS operators use Container Query, Cargo Clearance Automation System or contacting the POC of yard operator to obtain cargo details or manifest. CAS operators will check if the manifest contains any suspicious radioactive materials or NORM materials. CAS operators will then evaluate the radiation profile to determine if it is a reasonable NORM profile. If yes, the results will be documented on the computer and then the alarm will be closed. If not, the container will be sent for secondary inspection. The operation procedure mentioned is as follows:
Secondary inspection is additional radiation screening to confirm a radiation alarm from primary inspection and is the process used to isolate and identify radiation sources. Identification of the radiation sources is the key objective of secondary inspection.
Tertiary inspection is defined as confirmation of the identification performed during secondary inspection by technical subject matter experts using more sensitive identification equipment.