The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday said it is adding Boston and New Orleans to its urban area radiological and nuclear detection and interdiction program, expanding the effort to 16 major metropolitan areas.

Under the Securing the Cities (STC) program, DHS provides funding to, and partners with, select major cities and urban areas to build capability to detect, identify, analyze, interdict and report illicit radiological and nuclear materials. In addition to help purchasing equipment, the STC program provides expertise, training and exercise support to integrate detection activities into routine operations.

The program is managed by the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office and is part of a defense-in-depth strategy to protect the U.S. from the use of dirty bombs and weapons of mass destruction.

DHS is initially providing $2 million to both Boston and New Orleans to beginning planning and analysis. The department will award future grants to the cities and nearby areas to work with the CWMD Office and build capabilities.

The Biden administration is requesting $30.4 million for STC in fiscal year 2022, up from $24.6 million enacted by Congress in FY ’21, and plans to further expand the program.

“We are committed to working with state, local, tribal and territorial governments across the country to help them safeguard their communities,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “The Securing the Cities program enables the department and our partners to focus on the threat of radiological and nuclear terrorism. We will continue to expand the Securing the Cities program in the coming years.”

In addition to Boston and New Orleans, other major cities and urban regions under STC include the New York City, Jersey City and Newark region, the Los Angeles and Long Beach region in Southern California, the National Capital Region around Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle.