DHS directs funding to radiation detection
The Department of Homeland Security has awarded two contracts focused on the development and deployment of radiation detection technology.
The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), an arm of DHS, has granted $3.2 million for the deployment of radiation detection systems at interstate weigh stations throughout the southeastern U.S. The awards represent the first phase of DNDO’s Southeast Transportation Corridor Pilot (SETCP) program, a two-year initiative in nine states and the District of Columbia for the development of nuclear and radiological detection and interdiction capabilities on the nation’s highways. Funds provided will support the deployment of fixed, hand-held and mobile radiation detection equipment.
“The Southeast transportation corridor sees some of the largest concentrations of truck traffic in the country,” says Vayl S. Oxford, DNDO director. “The work that we are doing in the Southeast will ultimately lead to a web of radiation detection systems on our nation’s highways.”
DNDO has additionally awarded three companies a $22 million contract for the development and testing of advanced pocket sized radiation detection prototypes as part of the Intelligent Personal Radiation Locator (IPRL) program. General Electric Global Research of Niskayuna, N.Y., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of Livermore, Calif. and Smiths Detection of Pasadena, Calif., were awarded the contracts.
IPRL systems will have the capability for determining the direction, flux, energy, and isotope of detected radiation, as well as the location and orientation of the alarm.
“IPRL systems show promise for the security and safety of first responders, border patrol agents, customs and coast guard officers, and other law enforcement personnel,” Oxford says. “Homeland Security personnel and first responders will know in real time if they confront a security or safety risk from a device that fits in the palm of their hand.”