Super Bowl Security Includes Radiation Monitoring by Helicopter

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A low-flying helicopter will be measuring radiation in Tampa ahead of Super Bowl LV next week as part of a counterterrorism operation.

The testing is being done over the Florida city to measure naturally occurring background radiation, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. The agency uses that information “to quickly recognize unusual levels before, during, or after an event,” the NNSA said in a statement.

The surveys, which will involve a twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter equipped with passive radiation sensing technology flying a grid pattern over Tampa and the surrounding area, are regularly performed prior to major public events including presidential inaugurations.

The helicopter, based at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, is operated by the NNSA’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team.

The Super Bowl, occurring Feb. 7, will feature the Kansas City Chiefs versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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