This is Science Today. In an ongoing effort to strengthen
our nation's defense against terrorism, scientists
at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are
testing commercial instruments and developing new
technologies to detect if nuclear materials have
been smuggled inside cargo containers. Arden Dougan,
a program manager at the Lab, says handheld radiation
detectors are being used for what's called active
Dougan: The active interrogation method uses neutrons to go inside the container and that makes the nuclear material fission and when it fissions, new signatures of radiation exit the cargo container, we detect that and from that we can say 'A-ha, there's something inside." And so we're looking at various techniques to look inside that container.Narrator: This includes what Dougan calls defense and depth strategies.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.