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U.S. Secretary of Energy in Portugal to Enhance Energy Security

May 26, 2008 - 11:59am


U.S.-Portugal Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Increase Protection at Major Portuguese Port

LISBON, PORTUGAL - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman, Portuguese Minister of Finance Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, and Portuguese Deputy Minister of Public Works, Transport, and Communications Paulo Campos today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further U.S.-Portugal cooperation to enhance security of critical infrastructure, and combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism.  The historic agreement, signed in Lisbon, Portugal, is part of DOE's Megaports program-through its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)-to enhance capabilities to deter, detect, and prohibit the illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials at key seaports around the world.

"Portugal is an important friend to the U.S. and a strong leader in the global effort to combat international terrorism," Secretary Bodman said.  "In a time of increased trade and international commerce, it is more important than ever that we continue our global efforts to maintain security at international ports, to prevent supply disruption and combat nuclear proliferation."

Specifically under the agreement, DOE's NNSA will work with Portuguese Customs and the Portuguese Port Authority to install radiation detection equipment at the Port of Lisbon, and will provide radiation detection equipment and training on the use and long-term maintenance of the equipment to Portuguese customs officials.

Secretary Bodman is in Portugal this week for a number of bilateral meetings to increase U.S.-Portugal energy cooperation, particularly in the areas energy security and renewable energy.  Earlier today, the Secretary delivered remarks at the Catholic University of Portugal's renewable energy seminar and toured a Portuguese solar energy facility.  He also participated in a discussion at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Portugal where he highlighted the importance of basic science and applied R&D to achieving the goals of a more secure, clean and sustainable energy future.

NNSA's Megaports program works around the world with foreign governments to install specialized radiation detection equipment at international seaports.  The initiative is currently operational at ports in twelve countries and is at various stages of implementation in nineteen other locations.  Learn more information on the Megaports program.

Media contact(s):

Bethany Shively, (202) 586-4940