Many haulers have experienced, or know of an experience, where radioactive material has been detected in their loads. This has been a serious problem for numerous years as a result of government agencies mandating that radiation detection systems be installed to monitor the freight movement. The matter has been highlighted by recent inspections of garbage loads from Toronto disposed of at Michigan landfill sites under close scrutiny by state authorities.
The number of detections will only increase because more and more radiation detection systems are being installed to monitor freight for homeland security reasons. While awareness has grown of radioactive materials unknowingly carried in vehicles, haulers nevertheless are transporting a variety of them such as medical materials and natural-occurring radioactive material (NORM) in waste and recycled products.
Haulers face necessary delays (especially at borders) as well as potential exposure to themselves and contamination of an entire load.
There are potentially serious health and legal issues for the driver who is exposed to radiation as he drives down the highway for several hours. There’s the potential radiation contamination of the truck itself, resulting in expensive part replacements, downtime and the high cost of disposing the contaminated material. Then there’s the potential contamination of products in the load itself. Who is responsible for the disposal and associated costs of an entire truckload of contaminated material? There are risks regarding unlawful transportation of radioactive freight across international borders.
To combat this issue, Rad/Comm Systems has developed an extremely sensitive yet inexpensive portable radiation detection system exclusively for haulers that scans loaded vehicles before delivery of material.
The portable equipment is easy to operate, sensitive to all types of radioactive material and durable. The portable unit is ideally suited for quick and accurate scanning of loaded vehicles. The system utilizes a battery that can be recharged by the vehicle’s power supply. The system also features a durable casing designed to withstand the rigors of the road.
The portable system utilizes a large 32 cubic inch internal PVT plastic scintillation detector, which is up to 40 per cent larger than most other portable units. The portable detector contains a state-of-the-art microprocessor and internal electronic circuitry designed to automatically set the system to the proper alarm level, and to continually monitor system operation. In the event that the hauler detects a radioactive source, a varying audio tone activates to help locate the source of radiation quickly and effectively. This is the hauler’s best solution to combat radioactivity in freight.
Carrying a portable radiation detection system in your truck may not be the top priority of our already overworked haulers. However, if they’re pro-active, they won’t become radioactive.” This is one of the best pieces of insurance with which haulers can protect their livelihoods and their well-being.
Scott Aikin is with Rad/Comm Systems in Mississauga, Ontario. Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org