Issue Date: November 23, 2009
Radiation Detector Still Underperforming
A congressional hearing last week sought new information about the Department of Homeland Security's next-generation radiation monitors to detect radiological and nuclear material entering U.S. ports. The Advanced Spectroscopy Portals (ASPs) that are currently under development continue to perform poorly in field tests, causing lawmakers to be concerned. The House Science & Technology Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight hearing was the second one in the past six months to focus on ASPs' significant flaws. The polyvinyl toluene radiation portals currently in use provide only gross radiation detection. If radiation is found, the cargo must go through a second inspection. The new monitors are designed to both detect and identify radiation sources and would speed cargo flow by alleviating the need for a second inspection. In the most recent field tests, however, ASPs gave false positives and, in one case, stopped working altogether.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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