Magazine article National Defense

DHS' Nuclear Detection Efforts Continue on Smaller Scale

Magazine article National Defense

DHS' Nuclear Detection Efforts Continue on Smaller Scale

Article excerpt

The Department of Homeland Security has canceled the much-maligned Advanced Spectroscopic Portal program.

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office could never get the technology to work well enough, and estimated costs to deploy the portals swelled, so after six years with nothing to show for the millions spent, the ax fell.

They were intended to scan shipping containers for radioactive materials. Even if the portals did work, no one has ever answered how they could be deployed in so many disparate foreign ports, how much that would cost, and who would pay for the monumental bill to acquire, operate and maintain them.

Huban Gowadia, acting director of DNDO, was called before the House Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection and security technologies, and asked, what's next?

As far as a large follow-on program, with a one-size-fits-all technology like the ASP, which were supposed to be large enough for a truck to drive through, there are no such plans, she said.

"Future strategies may not be a one-for-one portal exchange; we may come to using a mix of mobile and agile technologies in conjunction with the systems that are already out there," she said. …

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