Hueneme port getting radiation monitors
The Port of Hueneme plans to install radioactive material monitors for cargo containers at the port by March 2009, federal officials said Thursday.
The Hueneme project is part of a federal mandate to screen 100 percent of containers entering the United States by 2012. The federal government is picking up the $700,000 cost of the Hueneme installation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is spearheading the project, has already completed similar installations at the nation's 22 largest ports, which represent 98 percent of the container traffic moving into the United States. The agency is now moving forward with installations at smaller ports like Hueneme.
Located about 100 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, the Port of Hueneme specializes in bulk and breakbulk commodities, such as automobiles and fruit. Last year, the port handled more than 35,000 TEUs.
The radiation portal monitors are typically installed at marine terminal truck gates, and as trucks carrying the container move slowly past the detectors on their way out of the terminal, the contents are monitored for radiation. An alarm notifies terminal personnel if radiation is detected and that the container should be detained for inspection.
During the Hueneme installation, the port's lone container terminal gate will be reconfigured from three inbound and two outbound lanes to two outbound and three inbound lanes. The radiation monitors will be installed on the outbound gates.