Lab Licenses Hand-Held Radiation Detector and Analyzer

June 18, 2003

Lab Licenses Hand-Held Radiation Detector and Analyzer

LIVERMORE, Calif. - As a premier example of homeland security technology moving to the marketplace, the National Nuclear Security Administration's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory today signed a licensing agreement with ORTEC Products, a business unit of AMETEK Inc., to commercialize the Lab's RadScout radiation detector and analyzer.

ORTEC will incorporate the technology in its next generation of advanced portable nuclear detection systems. They plan to market the detector within a year as the Detective and Detective-EX.

"RadScout is an excellent example of NNSA laboratories providing solutions to help our nation improve homeland security and assist in the war on terrorism," said Ambassador Linton Brooks, administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

"RadScout represents a breakthrough in radiation detection and identification technology. RadScout reduces existing bulky equipment to a compact, lightweight, battery-powered device that can be permanently mounted or fully portable � and can be operated by workers or first-responders with minimal training," according to Dr. Michael Anastasio, Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

RadScout was developed within the Lab's nuclear weapons division for emergency first responders and inspection personnel who need rapid detection and identification of material to determine the nature and scope of a threat.

Weighing about 20 pounds, RadScout features a miniaturized refrigeration system cooling to -280�F that eliminates liquid nitrogen cooling for the device's germanium crystal. RadScout measures neutrons and gamma rays emitted by radioactive materials, then analyzes them to identify the sources.

These high-performance, high-resolution portable systems can be used at border crossings, cargo ship docks and transportation terminals to differentiate between potentially dangerous radioactive materials and otherwise harmless radiation sources.

"The detectors will provide first responders, HAZMAT teams, fire departments, government authorities and others with the ability to screen objects for potentially dangerous nuclear material and determine quickly whether or not they pose a threat. Those include the more than six million cargo containers that enter the United States each year," notes Jon Kidder, Vice President and General Manager of AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology (AMT) in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

ORTEC has more than 40 years of experience in the design and manufacture of highly sensitive radiation detectors. These sensors are used by government and industrial laboratories, nuclear facilities and medical research and in nuclear safeguards.

ORTEC Products Group is a unit of AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technology, which also includes Princeton Applied Research, a leader in high-precision electrochemical analysis instrumentation, and Signal Recovery Products used to measure low-level or contaminated electrical signals. AMETEK AMT is a division of AMETEK Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with annual sales of more than $1 billion.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

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