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Greece will get devices for radiation detection

Brian Murphy Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece – The United States will provide Greece with radiation detection equipment to boost defenses against potential terrorist threats to the Olympics such as a dirty bomb, authorities said Monday.

The devices will be presented today by U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and installed at airports and ports, U.S. and Greek officials said. Abraham also plans to tour Athens’ international airport, where similar U.S. equipment is already being used.

Plans to safeguard the event are the most expensive in Olympic history, costing more than $1.2 billion – four times higher than Sydney, Australia’s security budget four years ago.

The lone U.S. military base in Greece – Souda Bay on the island of Crete – also has stockpiles of emergency medical equipment in case of biochemical or radiation attacks.

Greece is receiving assistance and advice from a seven-member advisory group of nations, including the United States, Britain and Israel.

Measures planned in Athens include the deployment of more than 70,000 police and soldiers, more than 1,400 security cameras and aerial surveillance by helicopters, a blimp and AWACS aircraft. A no-fly zone will be imposed around Olympic venues and other sites.

During the Olympics, thousands of dignitaries and others will stay aboard cruise ships in the busy port of Piraeus south of Athens.

U.S. officials said Greece is among the first of several countries to receive the equipment, which will be incorporated into the security planning for the Aug. 13-29 Olympics.

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