Homeland Security Using Nevada Site to Test 'Dirty Bomb' Sensors

January 28, 2006 - Posted at 2:30 p.m. CST

NEVADA TEST SITE, Nev. (AP) _ Scientists are perfecting

equipment in Nevada that aims to detect nuclear devices and ``dirty


The government test site is about 75 miles north of Las Vegas.

It's surrounded by barren mountains, spiky yucca trees and craters

left from decades of nuclear weapons tests.

Technicians are testing roadside sensors like those deployed to

ports of entry and some highway weigh stations. They're also

testing sensors in vehicles, including white ambulance-style vans,

black S-U-V's and a Jeep loaded with sophisticated radiation

sniffers and computers.

The tests are part of a 33 (m) million-dollar Homeland Security

Department program.

The goal is to see whether the 30 or so devices available

commercially can distinguish a bomb from less harmful sources of

radioactivity, or household items like kitty litter that contain

natural trace amounts.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)