The Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents and the later periods of the Cold War are some of the few historical examples that show how radiation and nuclear weapons can pose serious threats to the security and well-being of live in all forms. The dangers of radiation exposure are especially severe for the army and border security forces stationed at the battlefield.
Radiation and nuclear detection
The presence of radioactive substances in the environment not only disturbs the balance in nature but can pose long-term health issues and abnormalities for all forms of life in the vicinity. No wonder, detection of radiation becomes a prime concern for defense forces.
Over the years, the governments of many countries have invested millions towards prevention and neutralization of nuclear disasters and other radioactive threats. Also, lab testing and scientific breakthroughs have further contributed to the field of radiochemistry, nuclear engineering and dosimetry.
Top International Radiation Detection Programs Focused on Needs of Homeland Security
DHS (Department of Homeland Security)
DHS has taken major steps towards adoption of technologies focused on radioactive monitoring. A partnership between DHS and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement high-tech monitors at both seaports and land, scanning the imports and exports of a country, ensures that no nuclear or other dangerous weapons enter the borders undetected.
Another plan initiated by DHS is the Securing the Cities (STC) initiative, this includes imposing a high-tech security system to empower nations prone to nuclear or other radiation attacks. It funds and supports the disaster prevention and management activities of major cities such as New York, Los Angles etc.
DNDO (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, USA)
DNDO is a program under the Department of Homeland Security that works on improvement of the quality and efficiency of radiation detectors. Faster detection can help implement quicker prevention measures and safeguard the cities from major calamity and destruction. DNDO’s radiation detection devices are also stationed at maritime ports and borders, thereby enabling safer trade between nations. For more details check out: https://www.dhs.gov/domestic-nuclear-detection-office.
IRSS (Intelligent Radiation Sensing System)
The IRSS is a revolutionary technology that forms a network of various portable radiation detectors for getting the exact location and type of radioactive emission in a specific area. This comprehensive collection of various detectors ensures better accuracy and reliability. IRSS is especially useful in war or disaster affected areas where it is almost impossible to monitor the degree of damage caused. Other than radiation detection and monitoring, IRSS technique is a relatively new technology and has been developed by only three companies till date and can also be used for radiation reconnaissance in urban areas, tracking dubious objects etc. Check out this link for more information: https://www.dhs.gov/intelligent-radiation-sensing-system.
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Radiation Detectors And Devices Adopted In Homeland Security Units
Handheld radiation detectors
Handheld radiation meters offer accurate and instant measurements of radiation levels in the environment. Also these portable devices are easy to carry from one place to another. They can detect all types of radiation from alpha, beta and gamma rays to nuclear radiation and x-rays and can operate in tough conditions.
Isotope identification system
More advanced radiation detectors such as isotope identifying systems are highly sensitive devices that can detect the slightest changes in the environment. Armed with advanced technology and complex algorithms, these devices ensure greater speed and accuracy.
Radiation area monitoring systems
Radiation area monitors track the radiation levels of a specific geographical location. The information collected from these devices is transferred electronically to the main or central administration body.
The bottom line:
With the major technological advancements and growth of cost-effective innovative radiation detectors, the future of radiation detectors looks promising. Considering the perils that homeland security personnel are exposed to, these research endeavors are laudable indeed.