Radiation Screening Program Faulted | January 24, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 4 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 4 | p. 23 | Concentrates
Issue Date: January 24, 2011

Radiation Screening Program Faulted

Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: radioactivity, security
DHS is trying to improve the portals it uses to screen trucks for radioactivity.
Credit: DHS
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DHS is trying to improve the portals it uses to screen trucks for radioactivity.
Credit: DHS

Using new advanced spectroscopic radiation detector systems proposed by the Department of Homeland Security to detect radioactive materials on trucked cargo has been discouraged in a report from the National Research Council. NRC concluded that DHS’s tests to assess the performance of the advanced detector portals are too flawed for the agency to draw reliable conclusions about their likely performance. In addition, the cost of the new portals is too high compared with the cost of portals now being used. The agency needs to redo its cost-benefit analysis to consider more alternatives to the advanced detectors and to assess whether they are really needed to improve security. In particular, the report noted that DHS should give more consideration to improved handheld radiation monitors, which appear to be more reliable than the advanced portals.

 
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