A senior U.K. Labor Party lawmaker is saying the nation has failed to operate equipment designed to detect nuclear contraband, the Ealing Gazette reported on Monday.
Cyclamen radiation scanners are intended to be "what guarantees protection from nuclear fissile material at our ports," Chris Bryant, his party's "shadow immigration minister," said in a written speech.
"The portals have been built. But they are not switched on because the government still hasn't signed the contract. This is a disaster waiting to happen," Bryant said.
The British Home Office in March said the government had "completed" efforts to deploy Cyclamen detection units.
"Fixed installations are supported by mobile radiation detection units that can be deployed to any location nationally and in support of police operations," the Home Office added in a report on British counterterrorism efforts in 2012. The document pledges further investments "in maintaining and developing this capability to keep abreast of changes at the border and improvements in technology."
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.