Federal nuclear detection program expanding to Houston, Chicago

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday it was expanding the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) Securing the Cities program to Houston and Chicago.

DHS said the expansion could further build upon ongoing efforts to increase the nation’s capabilities to detect and protect against radiological and nuclear threats.

“The Securing the Cities program is a key part of the department’s effort to protect the nation against the malicious use of nuclear and other radioactive materials,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said. “Expanding this program to Houston and Chicago will bring these important capabilities to two more of our country’s largest metropolitan areas.”

The Securing the Cities program seeks to reduce the risk of a successful deployment of a radiological or nuclear weapon against major metropolitan areas in the U.S. The program assists state and local partner agencies as they build regional capabilities to detect, analyze and report nuclear and other radioactive materials.

Additionally, as part of the Securing the Cities program, each region will receive up to $30 million over five years. The initial award to Houston provides $3.5 million to begin the region’s planning and analysis. Future funding will allow DNDO to work with partners in the Houston area to build a robust, regional nuclear detection capability for law enforcement and first response organizations, Johnson said.

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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