[ RadSafe ] 10-4 good buddy, it's a 9/11 inspection

Susan Gawarecki loc at icx.net
Fri Oct 13 12:13:04 CDT 2006

10-4 good buddy, it's a 9/11 inspection
October 12, 2006

MONTEAGLE, Tenn. — State troopers and officials with a dozen other 
agencies inspected trucks at 17 sites for hazardous materials in an 
anti-terrorism exercise that authorities said could set standards for 
the rest of the country.

"It's the first simultaneous operation of this magnitude attempted by 
any state in this country," Col. Mike Walker said of Wednesday's operation.

At the brake check site on Monteagle Mountain, men huddled around a 
portable radiation monitor as a truck filled with potash was checked 
when it set off the radiation sensor.

"They stopped me at the (U.S.-Canadian) border when I crossed there," 
said truck driver Gerald Kehler, who was traveling from the Canadian 
province of Manitoba to Tampa. "But they didn't open it up like they did 

Officials used a machine manufactured by NucSafe Inc. to detect any 
radiation coming from trucks.

"Our focus is to inspect overseas containers and hazardous materials 
trucks and tankers," said THP Sgt. John Harmon, who coordinated the 
effort at Monteagle. "Every truck that passes this site will be scanned 
for radiological material or nuclear material."

Many legal materials, like the load of potash, have low levels of 
radiation that the machine can detect.

"What we are trying to do is 'fingerprint' these substances so we can 
reduce false positives," said Bill Richardson, an expert from Oak Ridge 
National Laboratories who was at the inspection site. "After an officer 
gets 10 or 20 hits like this, they are apt to let their guard down."

The inspectors also checked the trucks for illegal explosives.

Officer T.C. Vaughan of the Tuscaloosa, Ala., Police Department and his 
bomb detection dog, Baco, circled more than two dozen rigs searching for 
explosives. None were found.

About 700 trucks were inspected in the first three hours of operation at 
Monteagle. Total numbers for the 17 inspection sites won't be available 
until Monday, state officials said.

"This has never been done before," Harmon said. "We are setting the 
standard for the rest of the country."

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