Earlier this year we reported that Texas game wardens on the southern border have been issued radiation detectors due to concerns that a nuclear or radiological device could be smuggled into the United States through the porous Mexican border.
It appears that the Department of Homeland Security is also taking the potential for a nuclear-based weapon of mass destruction seriously. According to a new report from NextGov the government has ordered some $20 million worth of wearable intelligent nuclear detection (WIND) units in an effort to boost domestic security:
Last year, DHS made a broad agency announcement soliciting proposals for so-called Wearable Intelligent Nuclear Detection, or WIND, technology. Employees would wear the products to ensure nuclear devices weren’t secretly being transported in areas like marine vessels, metro systems, or other public areas, according to DHS.
DHS was specifically searching for “advanced technology demonstrations,” which are for “mature prototype capable of providing reliable performance measurements in a challenging and realistic, albeit simulated, operational environment,” the BAA said.
DHS’ Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, whose mission is to protect the U.S. from nuclear devices, was specifically searching for a modular wearable system that could sense, localize and identify nuclear particles, including gamma rays and neutrons.
The move signals a real and emerging threat and one that the Obama administration highlighted in March in which they warned of the four ways a large-scale nuclear attack on U.S. soil could happen. Whatever the method, the end result would be devastating: