Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Program: Background and Issues for Congress [December 30, 2010] [open pdf - 233KB]
"The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is charged with developing and procuring equipment to prevent a terrorist nuclear or radiological attack in the United States. At the forefront of DNDO's efforts are technologies currently deployed and under development whose purpose is to detect smuggled nuclear and radiological materials. These technologies include existing radiation portal monitors and nextgeneration replacements known as advanced spectroscopic portals (ASPs). Customs and Border Protection officers use radiation portal monitors to detect radiation emitted from conveyances, such as trucks, entering the United States. When combined with additional equipment to identify the source of the emitted radiation, radiation portal monitors provide a detection and identification capability to locate smuggled nuclear and radiological materials. The ASPs currently under testing integrate these detection and identification steps into a single process. By doing this, DHS aims to reduce the impact of radiation screening on commerce while increasing its ability to detect illicit nuclear material."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34750