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US nuclear detection funding

In the United States, the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded the initial funding of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) Securing the Cities programme to Chicago. That’s part of the DHS’s work to detect and protect against radiological and nuclear threats.

DNDO’s Acting Director Dr Wayne Brasure said: “The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s mission is to protect the nation against the malicious use of nuclear and other radioactive materials. Expanding the Securing the Cities program to Chicago will bring important capabilities to one more of our country’s largest metropolitan areas.”

The DHS says that Securing the Cities seeks to reduce the risk of a deployment of a radiological or nuclear weapon against major metropolitan areas in the United States. The money goes to assist state and local partner agencies as they build regional capabilities to detect and report nuclear and other radioactive materials.

The Chicago region will receive up to $30 million over five years. The initial funding to Chicago provides $3.5m to begin planning and analysis. Future funding will allow DNDO to work with partners in the Chicago area to build a nuclear detection capability for law enforcement and first responders. DNDO will also provide equipment and assist regional partners in training and exercises. Once funding concludes, DNDO will continue to provide subject matter expertise in the areas of training, exercises, and technical support to ensure the region maintains detection capability.

The work began in 2006 as a pilot project for the New York City/Jersey City/Newark region and expanded to the Los Angeles/Long Beach region in 2012, the National Capital Region in 2014, and the Houston region in 2015. The DHS adds that intends to expand to other major metropolitan areas, and eventually to extend to protect nearly 100 million people in the US.


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