Freight News, Sea

Nuke scientists run Felixstowe test

[ February 19, 2016   //   ]

Scientists from the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) have run comparative trials of five radiation portal monitoring systems at the Port of Felixstowe.

Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) detect radioactive sources in containers or vehicles and can distinguish between dangerous sources from innocent alarms such as medical isotopes and naturally occurring radioactive material.

The trials were used to benchmark the performance of several different RPMs faced with the same flow of traffic in a realistic and challenging operational environment. The systems included AWE’s Tigress prototype to the in-service Cyclamen system. The other systems were a proposed upgrade to Cyclamen (developed by Serco with input from AWE) and offerings from US companies, Physical Sciences Incorporated (PSI) and Leidos.

AWE collaborated with a large number of stakeholders to run the trials including the Home Office and UK Border Force (UKBF), the US Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the Port of Felixstowe, PSI, and Leidos. The trials took place in late 2015, during which over 2,000 port vehicles were scanned.

Analysis of the results from the trials has begun and is expected to influence Home Office and UKBF strategy for the procurement of border monitoring technology.

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