RealNews

Lab rolls out high-tech radiation detectors

A cell phone that will be able to tell the difference between a “dirty bomb” and someone who’s undergone radiation treatment is among the next generation of anti-terrorism tools being worked on by national weapons lab scientists. The device, known as RadNet, is designed to make calls, surf the Web, act as a Personal Digital Assistant, pinpoint locations with Global Positioning System technology and sniff out radioactive materials with a cutting-edge sensor. It is one of several national security projects under development at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “It almost sounds like science fiction, but it’s here today,” said Simon Labov, director of the new Radiation Detection Center at Lawrence Livermore, which celebrated its formal opening Thursday with a display of the RadNet and other devices. Lab officials showed off their work with theatrical flair, whipping away white cloths from some prototypes. “This is called UltraSpec,” Labov said as he displayed the Ultra-High Resolution Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometers. “No other instrument like it in the world.” Full Story

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