State Police Stop Fireman After Nuclear Medical Test

Discussion in 'Railways, Highways, Waterways' started by RB, May 11, 2012.

  1. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I really had no idea that police had nuclear detectors in their vehicles and that they were sensitive enough to detect radiation after a person had completed a nuclear stress test. What else are they using to watch us with?

  2. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Yes, I've read that before. However, the story I read was someone pulled off a boat for alarming a sensor in a police boat.
  3. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    He's lucky they didn't decide to felony stop him. He could have been killed.
  4. myadvice

    myadvice Original Member

    Read story at

    More :trash: that we are spending money on.

    Well at least the "layer" propaganda presentations to the PR folks attending the Homeland security boondoggle convention were effective.
  5. MaximumSisu

    MaximumSisu Requiescat in Pace

    Indeed. The search for SNM (special nuclear materials) by passive means is quite difficult. While plutonium can be passively recognized by its neutron emissions, the passive detection of HEU (highly enriched uranium), especially if shielded, is another matter. U235 does not have a usable characteristic gamma emission, and detection is based on measuring the 1.001 MeV photon of a decay product of U238 that is present in all but laboratory pure U235, or by detection, in HEU that is contaminated by U232, of its 2.615 MeV photon.

    These photon energies are substantially higher than common medical isotopes (the firefighter was imaged either with Tc-99m at 0.140 MeV or Tl-201 at .068-.082 MeV). His detection implies that there is no energy discrimination in the detection apparatus, which increases sensitivity for detection of all radioactive material but markedly decreases specificity. Simple Bayesian analysis shows that with an extremely large pre-test probability of source being medical in nature, the post-test probability of any detected event being a National Security threat is essentially zero.

    This leads to multiple instances of stops of innocent citizens, with danger to the citizen, and, somewhat less, to law enforcement. A large number of stops for medical isotopes leads to law enforcement complacency, which may lead to law enforcement casualties in the event of detection of an actual threat, as such material will be in the hands of very motivated individuals.

    Thus, while there is useful equipment for detection of radioactive threats, this junk isn't it.
    Lisa Simeone, Caradoc and nachtnebel like this.
  6. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    In other words, it's somewhat equivalent in uselessness to the ETD swab technology currently in use at airports.
    Lisa Simeone, boggie dog and Caradoc like this.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Or equivalent to the Strip Search Machines that don't detect explosives. Seems par for the course at DHS to buy stuff that doesn't really do the job intended. Liken it to using a nuclear weapon to remove a window in a building.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  8. MaximumSisu

    MaximumSisu Requiescat in Pace

    And it's not like DoD didn't tell DHS what does work.
  9. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Our tax dollars are being squandered hand over fist to buy these junk-science toys.

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