NNSA’s NEST team prepares for Super Bowl

January 31, 2022, 3:01PMNuclear News

Los Angeles residents may see low-altitude aircraft near the sites of Super Bowl LVI activities on February 1 and 2. That’s when the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration will send a Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) helicopter to measure expected background radiation as part of standard preparations to protect public health and safety for the National Football League’s biggest game.

More information and video footage of NEST’s work is available online.

The aircraft: The NEST helicopter is part of the NNSA’s Aerial Measuring System, which is a rapidly deployable capability that can respond to nuclear incidents and accidents in the United States and overseas.

The helicopter is a twin-engine Bell 412 model equipped with radiation-sensing technology. It will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet (or higher) above the ground at a speed of about 80 mph. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take approximately two hours to complete per area.

About NEST: NEST is part of the NNSA’s Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Program and is an element of the nation’s nuclear or radiological emergency response capability.

The game: This year’s Super Bowl will pit the American Football Conference’s Cincinnati Bengals against the National Football Conference’s Los Angeles Rams. The game will take place on Sunday, February 13, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

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