On October 26, 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) announced the publication of the first technical capability standard (TCS) titled "Technical Capability Standard for Handheld Instruments Used for the Detection and Identification of Radionuclides". TCSs are threat-informed, government-unique standards that provide detection capability goals for certain nuclear detection and non-intrusive imaging systems. The TCS is the first government unique standard published within DHS.
- Technical Capability Standard for Handheld Instruments Used for the Detection and Identification of Radionuclides, (PDF, 33 pages - 336 KB)
The SAFE Port Act of 2006 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through DNDO and in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to publish TCSs for non-intrusive imaging and radiation detection equipment in the United States, taking into account relevant standards utilized by other Federal departments and agencies.
DNDO worked with NIST to establish a working group comprised of U.S. Federal agencies and national laboratories to develop the TCS for handheld instruments. Membership includes representatives from DNDO, NIST, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and several DOE national laboratories.
The Graduated Rad/Nuc Evaluation and Reporting (GRaDERSM) Program will incorporate TCS requirements as part of compliance testing. In addition to the TCS for handheld instruments, the working group is developing additional TCS to address backpack based radiation detection systems and vehicle mounted radiation detection systems.