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DHS Seeks Radiation-Sensing Gear Despite Critics

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DHS Seeks Radiation-Sensing Gear Despite Critics

U.S.

DHS Seeks Radiation-Sensing Gear Despite Critics

DHS Seeks Radiation-Sensing Gear Despite Critics

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The Bush administration wants to install new radiation detectors at the nation's ports and land crossings. The issue, officials say, is that old monitors can't distinguish between a weapon of mass destruction and radiation that occurs naturally — in things such as kitty litter.

Even so, some people are questioning whether the new gear is really worth the $1.2 billion price tag.

The Department of Homeland Security is testing a new set of radiation detectors on cargo entering the port of New York. The program is aimed at finding dangerous materials that terrorists might ship into the United States.

But analysts say that, properly shielded, the radioactive cargo would fool even new, improved detectors, and they question whether it's worth the investment.