U.K. Lawmaker: Nuclear-Smuggling Defenses Sit Idle

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 13, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

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.”

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