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PNNL Article: Rail RPM Prototype Right on Track

On the morning of September 12, two 24-foot-high radiation portal monitor (RPM) towers were erected on each side of the track at Tri-City and Olympia Railroad, a short-line railroad near the campus of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. The RPM towers are part of the rail RPM prototype facility, a test bed that will be used by Rail Vector and other RPMP staff to evaluate the rail RPM reference design configuration in an operating rail environment. As a future test bed, the prototype will support software and hardware enhancements, technical adaptation activities, and further refinement of the rail design configuration. The booth and supporting prototype equipment will be installed in the coming months. Design work for the prototype started in early spring, followed by construction in August and September. During the process, Rail Vector staff faced a multitude of design engineering and operational challenges associated with deployment on a working railroad. Staff with strong technical expertise formed the cornerstone of the project’s success, according to Rick Cameron, the Rail Vector Design Authority. “The Rail Vector received excellent support from the RPMP team, the railroad, and from local contractors who helped perform various activities associated with the design, fabrication, and construction of the rail RPM prototype facility.”

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