The Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) will be testing current and prototype next-generation handheld and mobile nuclear detectors at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) from January 9 through February 3, 2006….
This testing will subject detectors to a series of realistic materials and threats encountered in legitimate commerce, as well as occur in potentially illicit activities. Testing will offer insights into the performance of the nuclear and radiological detectors, and how they are to be integrated into the DNDO-developed domestic nuclear detection strategy. Following the test series, DNDO will make these evaluations available to state and local agencies to aid their selection and acquisition of preventive nuclear detection equipment using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants.
Nuclear and radiological detection is in my opinion the most difficult – but also the most critical – technological challenge in homeland security today. It’s also one that cannot easily be solved: detection technologies are insurmountably constrained in some cases by the laws of physics. Nevertheless, this quiet effort by DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate and the DNDO to develop and test new technologies needs to remain a critical priority for DHS for years to come.