Gamma rays destined for Canadian port

| 2/6/2002

The Vancouver Port Authority will install equipment that uses gamma rays to scan containers. The feds have promised to help back the $2.5-million venture.

According to a published report, Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency officials say the scanner will be used in addition to manual inspections. The Port of Vancouver will be the first Canadian port to employ this type of technology.

The gamma ray container screening equipment is known formally as the VACIS II system (Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System). The gamma ray generator is mounted on a truck with a receiver mounted on a hydraulic arm that straddles a container being pulled through on a trailer. The VACIS can also roll past a stationary container. It screens containers at the rate of one per minute. Once scanned, the data can be saved and transmitted to the container's final destination.