Training of first responders on the hazards of radiological and nuclear threats has been challenged by the difficulties of adequately representing those threats.
Training against such threats would involve the use of hazardous, highly radioactive materials, experiencing actual radiation doses in training, or require the distribution of radioactive material over a large geographical area. To avoid these issues, surrogate radioactive materials have been used in training exercises. However, these materials do not accurately represent real threats due to their non-hazardous size and inability to be geographically distributed.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have solved the problem by developing a new technology that provides realistic radiation detection training by directly injecting simulated radiation signals into the analog amplifier of the real detectors used by first responders and inspectors.
About the photo:
The LLNL Spectroscopic Injection Pulser prototype directly injects signals into radiation detection equipment, exactly like a real radiation source. This laboratory-scale prototype will support miniaturization to something near the size of a cellphone.