ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - It is one of those things that you probably don’t want to know about but absolutely should: nuclear waste being transported in trucks which you pass on the highway each and every day.
Now a first-of-its-kind device in Missouri is being used to detect roadway radiation. Its official name is a real mouthful: the Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Radiation Monitor.
Captain Tim Hull with the Missouri State Highway Patrol says the monitor is functioning at a truck inspection center on a major interstate which passes through St. Louis and is able to determine whether vehicles that pass through are emitting any potentially dangerous radiation.
“We have a lot of radiation that comes into our state,” Hull explained. “Some of it is nuclear waste that’s being transported across the nation to be disposed of; some of it might be medical nuclear material.”
Of course, there is also a chance that someone hauling nuclear material has nefarious motives. “You’ve got that potential for some kind of terrorist act and this could preempt that and be able to detect it before anything would happen.”
The device was installed through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at no cost to the state.