India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government have finally decided on the installation of RDE, i.e., the Radiation Detection Equipment. Now this radiation detection equipment will be installed at the 8 Integrated Check Post, that is, the ICP on the country’s borders which it shares with Pakistan Bangladesh Myanmar, and Nepal. The reason behind the installation of the radiation detection equipment is to detect the smuggling of radioactive materials.
This initiative is indeed an important move, as issues are developing more in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, this initiative follows a nearly two-year-long exercise which was done by the government through a Request for Interest, that is the RFI which was issued by the government in 2020. The reason behind this initiative what’s to seek input on system requirements for such RDE globally. Similar initiatives were taken by the US and the RDEs were supplied by the US in Afghanistan too.
Finally, to install radiation detection equipment at all the eight Integrated Check Posts, a tender has now been issued by the government. This tender was issued by the government last week. Also the Request for Proposal, RPE documents have been reviewed by some news agencies such as News 18, and it is concluded that the Radiation detection types of equipment should be installed in just three months of an order being placed. So it can be said that the deadline may be early 2022.
The government has also said that it intends to procure the radio detection equipment to detect the illicit trafficking of radioactive material which takes place across the international borders. According to some sources, the document also added, “it is vital to equip border crossings with integrated checkpoints and land ports since these may be used as smuggling routes for materials needed for a nuclear device or radiological dispersal device.” And as mentioned earlier the main Idea behind this is to safe and secure trade across all the land ports as normal x-ray equipment will be unable to detect the radioactive materials that may be traded across the borders.
What is the main function behind the radioactive detection equipment?
To regulate the entry and exit of the passengers and goods at the borders the ICPs are used. And regarding this, the document says, “for the purpose of further strengthening the security of cargo movement across ICPs, security agencies at the ICP could use RDE (radiation detection equipment) which could be installed in a drive-through monitoring station that monitors trucks and their cargo. The equipment is capable of raising separate and neutron radiation alarms and generating video frames of target objects.”
This radiation detection equipment will also have another feature to differentiate between special nuclear material and naturally occurring radiation in fertilizer ceramics as well as high energy isotopes which are an attribute of recycled uranium. These points were given in the documents which were referred to by the news agencies like News 18. Now the bid opens next month and the government has also sought them from agencies you have also commissioned at least twenty drives through RDE in the last 5 years abroad. The government will also set up the maintenance system in the country. Many methods have been taken by the government and indeed the government has made sure the border it’s safe and also so there are no other cases like this one. And the radiation detection equipment will be installed at the ICP at Attari (Pakistan border), Petrapole, Agartala, Dawki and Sutarkandi (Bangladesh border), Moreh ( Myanmar border), and Raxaul and Jogbani (Nepal border).