Low-flying helicopter to measure Las Vegas radiation levels before Super Bowl LVIII

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A helicopter equipped with sensitive radiation detectors will be scanning the Las Vegas valley next week as Super Bowl LVIII approaches.

About five weeks after aerial radiation assessment surveys of the Las Vegas Strip prior to New Year’s Eve celebrations, a team from the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) is back. Although specifics weren’t disclosed on where the flights will take place, they will begin on Monday, Feb. 5, and continue until Thursday, Feb. 8. The Super Bowl is on Sunday, Feb. 11, at Allegiant Stadium.

A twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter will fly in a grid pattern about 150 feet off the ground, traveling at about 80 mph. The surveys will occur only during daylight hours, and they will take about two hours for each area examined.

NEST is a part of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm is expected to meet with the NEST team during her visit to Las Vegas on Thursday as they prepare to do the surveys. Granholm is attending a number of events in the area to highlight renewable energy, including a visit to Allegiant Stadium.

NNSA describes the surveys as a normal part of security and emergency preparedness. They don’t want to alarm the public with the low-flying aircraft.

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