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Police patrol vehicles get system to detect radiation
In a first, 60 patrol vehicles of the city police have been fitted with Mobile Radiation Detection Systems (MRDS), which can detect, locate and facilitate analysis of radiation threats in real time basis. The project is part of a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) funded initiative to minimise the impact of nuclear and radiological incidents.
Police officials said as part of a pilot project, the NDMA has taken the initiative to equip police and NDRF personnel to manage of radiological emergency in public domain. The information can be utilised for assistance during such emergencies.
“MRDS are fitted in some vehicles. Those are not functional yet,” said police Commissioner AK Viswanathan when contacted.
K Prabhakar, Deputy Commissioner, Modern Control Room, noted that the MRDS are fitted in 60 vehicles. “NDMA has to train the police personnel on the subject before making the system functional,” he said. The project is also being supported by Baba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), which has provided the technological support.
The equipment will incorporate wireless connectivity with police control room and BARC in case of detection of radiation. MRDS equipment integrate a number of sensors, enabling threat assessment over large areas where the vehicle that is fitted with the equipment is parked. If it detects radiation, the information will be immediately passed on to the BARC control room, which will in turn inform the experts sitting in the Kalpakkam Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, who would suggest appropriate follow up action.
The project believed to be a part of national response arrangements and capabilities which are considered essential to minimise the impact of nuclear and radiological incidents.
In 2011, the Centre had decided to equip 800 police stations covering 80 cities of India with radiation monitors, including mobile radiation detection system, that can be fitted to Police Control Room (PCR) vans. This will enable the police to detect and get alerted in case such a van approaches any radioactive source or a radiologically contaminated area or detects any radio-active sources being transported.