Researchers develop cheap radiation and nuke detection device
| 08.23.2006 | 07:11:55 | Views: 2935 | ID:
August 23 '06: A group of private inventors in San Francisco were able to design and build a radiation detection device for $12,000 which can be used in ports to search for possible smuggled nuclear materials, Wired reported Tuesday.
"The group, led by physicist and Sandia Lab weapons subcontractor Stanley Glaros, says it has already built a boat-mounted scanner with off-the-shelf parts that might reliably spot radiation spikes in container ships at sea from a kilometer away. ... 'Can we detect hazardous material at a distance?' said Glaros. 'Yes, easily.'" Wired reported.Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security said it was developing a program designed to detect nuclear weapons being smuggled into shipping containers at US ports. The program would cost $1.15 billion to implement and would not be complete until 2011. Wired reported that according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, 650 cases of illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials were reported between 1993 and 2004. "As of February," Wired continued, "75 percent of US ports had no ability to screen for nuclear weapons and only 5 percent of the 11 million containers were inspected at all," according to internal DHS records. The homemade nuclear detection device made by Glaros' team can detect radiological or nuclear material inside a shipping container from a kilometer away. Currently, contracts for detection devices given by DHS to Raytheon will cost $300,000 - $600,000 for each machine.
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