Why are Radiation Portal Monitors necessary?
When it comes to nuclear security Radiation Portal Monitors are a necessity. With the world discovering the uses of nuclear power, it opened up a Pandora’s Box of dangerous weapons that can be used against humanity.
Radiation Portal Monitors came into circulation after collapse of the Soviet Union when nuclear material smuggling became an imminent threat for the globe. These Radiation Portal Monitors are used at borders and railway tracks to scan the materials on board being transported.
Initially, these monitors were used at scrap metal facilities. Scrap metal is extracted from old vehicles, structures, ships and machine parts to be reused for making new products. The thing about scrap metal is that you can never really be sure if the metal is safe for use because it can be contaminated with hazardous materials. These Radiation Portal Monitors served as a screen test for any scrap metal that was brought to the facilities. In case any contaminated substance was used, that would result in a dangerous environment and costly clean up of the facility.
With time, as the world saw that these devices are a good way to keep the transporting of illegal nuclear materials in check, they were deployed on several hot spots for transport across Eastern Europe, Asia and America.
After the 9/11 attack, the US customs and border protection became much more active in monitoring the transportation of nuclear materials. US customs and border protection deployed Radiation Portal Monitors all around US borders covering all land, sea and air routes.
Radiation Portal Monitors are a necessity for the safety of all countries. If any nuclear material gets in the wrong hands, it could mean devastation. A strict regulation is required to keep the transportation of these materials limited and only for safe use.
How do they work?
As the name suggests, Radiation Portal Monitors are set up like portals that any vehicle transporting goods has to pass through to see whether it is cleared of hazardous materials or not. They are set up in panels on both sides of the roads and scan the vehicles as they pass through them.
Radiation Portal Monitors mainly work on neutron detection and can detect gamma radiation. With time the technology has been advanced and now due to the use of He-3 tubes, these devices are able to detect nuclear activity more accurately.
The devices have been perfected so that naturally gamma emitting items such as Bananas, Cat litter, porcelain, granite and stone wear are not detected as a potentially harmful threat. This allows for efficient and standardized detection. Transport routes are not disrupted and the only time a transport vehicle is stopped is when the portal detects something immensely harmful on board.
Radiation Portal Monitors are a necessity in all countries now. Although nuclear materials are transported for purposes such as power generation and experiments in particle study, unregulated transportation can mean that nuclear materials can fall into the hands of terrorist organizations.
The main purpose of RPMs is to prevent the ingredients used to make destructive weapons from falling into the wrong hands. This is not just a matter of National security, but rather, the safety of the whole world depends on such devices.
A lot of movies and video games show us the nuclear holocaust. These devices are designed to prevent this kind of reality.
Other uses include:
- Scrap metal monitoring
- Industrial machinery monitoring
- Scanning of materials to ensure safety of products
Different types of Radiation monitoring
There are different types of Radiation Portal Monitoring to regulate all modes of transport and scan them for illegal smuggling of hazardous material. These include:
- Railway Radiation Portal Monitoring
- Crane Radiation Portal Monitoring
- Air luggage Radiation Portal Monitoring
- Air Freight Radiation Portal Monitoring
- Pedestrian Radiation Portal Monitoring
Different facilities incorporate the use of Radiation Portal Monitoring to prevent theft and illegal disposing of hazardous material. Civilian and Military Nuclear facilities incorporate these to prevent theft of such materials. Steel mills do it to check the incoming scrap metal for traces of radiation on them and for safe disposal of such items. Garbage incineration facilities also incorporate them to avoid contamination of the rest of the materials.