By establishing a Rail Test Center (RTC) at the port, DHS will identify and evaluate radiological and nuclear detection solutions for intermodal rail port facilities that can be used across the country.
“The deployment of radiation portal monitors can be much more challenging at seaports where cargo containers depart the port by rail,” said Vayl Oxford, director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).
“DNDO is particularly interested in testing the operational needs as well as evaluating innovative technical solutions to fit the unique radiological and nuclear detection requirements of intermodal terminals. Advances in this area will provide greater capabilities to our partners such as the Customs and Border Protection, the United States Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration.”
Projects being considered for further evaluation at the RTC include scanning cargo on the dock, during transport to the rail yard, entering the rail yard, in the container storage stack, during train assembly and as the train leaves the port.
The Port of Tacoma fulfils the requirements mandated by Section 121(i) of the SAFE Port Act of 2006. The publicly owned facility is the seventh largest container port in North America, and handles more than 70% of its total import cargo volume by rail at multiple intermodal rail terminals.
“Trans-Pacific cargo enters our Port on container ships and is transferred to on-dock intermodal yards, where it is shipped to major US markets by rail. The efficiency of this system is critical. Not only does it serve our customers well, it serves our community by eliminating thousand of truck trips per day and the associated safety and environmental concerns, ” said Port of Tacoma executive director Timothy J. Farrell.