[ RadSafe ] " Port gets dirty-bomb detectors "

Jaro jaro-10kbq at sympatico.ca
Tue May 8 06:38:33 CDT 2007


Port gets dirty-bomb detectors

ANNE SUTHERLAND, The Gazette, May 08, 2007

Two new tools to scan containers that arrive at the Port of Montreal were
unveiled yesterday.

Politicians say the devices will eliminate the chance of ''dirty bombs''
coming into the city.

A dirty bomb is a device that combines radioactive material with
conventional explosives.

Low-level radiation detector portals and a car-mounted X-ray system that can
be driven around a container are now in use at the entryway to the port and
will help fight the war on terrorism, officials said.

Federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Public Works Michael
Fortier unveiled the two new devices yesterday at the offices of the Canada
Border Services Agency near the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine tunnel.

Each radiation detection portal consists of two panels, four metres high and
separated by the width of a container. All arriving containers are loaded on
a transport truck and driven through the portal. The machine identifies
sources of artificial and natural radiation. Artificially sourced radiation
is associated with nuclear devices.

The radiation detector will not only sniff out bombs, but will identify the
ingredients necessary to make these kinds of bombs. The car-borne X-ray
machine is a second check for any container that emits traces of
artificially sourced radiation.

The Port of Montreal currently has two X-ray equipped vehicles and eight
portal scanners.

These two scanning systems are now in place in Montreal and Saint John,
N.B., and and are in the process of being installed in Vancouver and

The new radiation detection portal devices cost $210,000 each and the X-ray
machines cost $100,000 each, not including the cost of the vehicle.

The Canada-wide budget for these new systems is $8 million, said Amelie
Morin, spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency.

About 1.3 million containers enter and leave the port every year.

asutherland at thegazette.canwest.com


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