Radiation detectors for Olympics

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge voiced renewed confidence in Greece’s handling of preparations for the August Olympics yesterday, as a US official presented Greek authorities with radiation detectors to be used ahead of the Games. In a visit to Athens, Rogge met Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Athens 2004 Organizing Committee president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and took the time for a quick tour of the main Olympic complex in northern Athens where work is under way to complete installation of an 18,000-ton roof over the central Olympic Stadium. In Cyprus later yesterday, the IOC chief said the preparations appeared adequate. «There are actually… 80 days left until the opening of the Olympic Games, but everything that we have studied and watched indicates that there is enough time to finish everything in due time,» he said. «I have no doubt whatever that the Athens Games will be the best ever.» In Athens, US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham presented government officials with $25 million worth of radiation detectors to form part of Greece’s massive Olympic security umbrella, which is expected to cost the host country at least 1 billion euros. The detectors – intended to address the threat of a terrorist attack using explosives to disperse radioactive material – will be installed at seven airports, 12 harbors and 13 border crossings, while police and customs officials will be issued with portable devices. Security will also be upgraded at the Democritus atomic research center and at hospitals and industrial plants using radioactive materials. The donation was part of an effort coordinated by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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