CCRA using new gamma ray units to screen shipping containers

by Canadian Shipper

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) has unveiled new mobile gamma ray scanners it’s using to enhance shipping container security at Canadian ports.

The truck-mounted gamma ray mobile scanning systems, called Vehicle and Cargo Inspection Systems (VACISTM), capture an image of the contents of a marine container, rail car or truck that is similar to an X-ray. But they use a Cobalt 60 energy source that emits a lower dose of radiation than an X-ray unit. CCRA says the high-tech gamma ray units will help customs officers inspect densely loaded containers for contraband and dangerous goods.

CCRA has purchased 11 of the $2-million VACISTM mobile scanners, and will be installing them “at strategic locations” across the country this year.

“This is the latest in a series of innovative technologies that we have invested in to increase public safety,” says Minister of National Revenue, Elinor Caplan. “This mobile VACISTM unit will allow customs inspectors to better protect Canadians.”

CCRA has doubled its national inventory of X-ray systems, ion mobility spectrometers and other types of contraband detection technology since October 2001.

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