New portable radiation detectors to do cargo duty
The Department of Homeland Security has awarded $113 million to several contractors who will compete to provide enhanced handheld radiation detectors for inspection personnel at ports of entry.
The department’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office selected Ametec AMT and Target Instruments from Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Science Application International Corp. (SAIC), San Diego; Smiths Detection Inc., Pine Brook, N.J.; and Sanmina-SCI, Huntsville, Tenn. to provide about 1,000 next-generation handheld and 200 backpack systems.
There are more than 14,000 handheld radiation devices in use at airports, sea and land ports. The DNDO said most of the new, more accurate devices will be used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for secondary screening of cargo to identify and pinpoint radiological material after a primary alarm from a whole container scanner has been triggered.
It also anticipates Coast Guard officers using the devices during ship boardings.