Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Secure Freight Initiative

Secure Freight Initiative

The Department of Homeland Security has initiated testing on radiation testing on containers- part of the new DHS Secure Freight Initiative. Testing will take place on cargo bound for the U.S. before it leaves foreign ports. The Initiative is intended to detect nuclear or radiological weaponry before it can be smuggled into the United States. If it works this will be a giant step towards securing our ports at home and preventing a nuclear disaster in the future.

The technology is in it's testing phase and will take a while to achieve wide spread use. It uses an x-ray like device to scan containers for hazardous materials. Data is sent back to Customs and Border Protection agents in near real time, allowing the security forces at home to deal with any potential threats before they arrive in U.S. ports. This technology will make it possible to scan cargo without massive increases in TSA personnel, such as that proposed in the SAFE ports act amendments proposed by Senator Charles Schumer. A technological alternative such as this would allow us to efficiently screen a large portion of inbound cargo without paying thousands of extra screeners to open each container, bogging down port terminals world wide.

This technology will be an excellent way to ensure our nation's security. Hopefully the testing phases go smoothly and positive results are seen from the use of these devices. The more this technology is developed and perfected, the smaller and more accurate the machines will be in the future. If you have interests in the shipping industry or in the defense technology field this is something to keep your eyes on.
As more information on the testing phases of this technology becomes available we will be sure to post updates on this story.

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