A ceremony inaugurating the operation of fixed detection systems for monitoring radiation was held on Wednesday, February 15, at Kipoi Customs. Kipoi Customs thus become the sixth customs station of the country in which such equipment is installed, in accordance with the general plan about combating illicit trafficking of radioactive materials.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by representatives of the Department of Energy of the United States of America, the US Embassy in Greece, the General Secretariat of Public Revenue, in charge of the customs administration, and the Greek Atomic Energy Commission (EEAE).

EEAE has an on-going cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US Department of Energy to enhance radiation detection infrastructure. The installation of radiation detection systems at customs of strategic position in Greece was launched in 2003, as part of the security plans of the Olympic Games of 2004, but the goal is enduring and after the Olympic Games period.

At national level, among EEAE and the General Directorate of Customs there is in force a memorandum of cooperation in the field of combating illicit trafficking of radioactive materials, as well as a contract for the maintenance and calibration of the radiation detection systems. The Customs Authorities are responsible for the inspection of vehicles and cargo with the use of systems for detecting radioactive materials. In cooperation with the customs authorities, EEAE controls centrally and monitors on-line the alarms regarding radiological incidents. Moreover, EEAE takes care for the training of customs personnel using the (fixed and portable) radiation detection equipment and dealing with alarms.

(Press release issued jointly by the General Secretariat of Public Revenue and the Greek Atomic Energy Commission)

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