WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 11, 2012) – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will be flying a helicopter over portions of Baltimore, Md. to measure naturally occurring radiation between May 14 and 16, 2012.
Officials from NNSA announced that the radiation assessment will cover approximately 10 square miles. NNSA will complete the assessment using a helicopter equipped with remote gamma radiation sensing technology. The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the areas, 300 feet (or higher) above the ground surface, at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and it is estimated to take about one day to complete the assessment.
The measurement of naturally occurring radiation to establish baseline levels is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness. NNSA is making the public aware of the upcoming flights so that citizens who see the low-flying aircraft are not alarmed.
The NNSA's Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) out of Andrews Air Force Base will be performing the assessment for the city of Baltimore.
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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.