July 14, 2006

US awards $1.16 bln for border scanning equipment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland
Security said on Friday it awarded $1.16 billion in contracts
to three companies to develop sophisticated equipment to scan
cargo at border cities for nuclear weapons material.

Raytheon Co., Thermo Electron Corp. and Canberra Industries
were awarded the contracts for a program known as the advanced
spectroscopic portal.

The equipment will be used by U.S. Customs and border
officials to more clearly distinguish between naturally
occurring radioactive materials and highly enriched uranium or
weapons grade plutonium, the government said in a statement.