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What will the TSA do with the $40 million in x-ray scanners it has sitting around?

Excerpt from The Atlantic

Feb 12, 2013 12:06 am

Skift Take

The safety and privacy concerns that pushed the scanners out of airports won’t likely be an issue wherever they end up next, which will give operators time to focus on the real concern: What’s the radiation really like?

— Samantha Shankman

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Phil Velasquez  / Chicago Tribune

Government officials say the full-body scanners used at airports, such as this one at Chicago's O'Hare International, are safe, many people still worry about the amount of radiation that hits the body. Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune


Last month, the Transportation Security Administration ended its contract with the airport scanner maker Rapiscan, pledging to remove the company’s controversial backscatter x-ray machines from the country’s airports.

This may have been good news for plane passengers…It was significantly less good news, however, for the TSA, which now finds itself in the awkward position of having hundreds of machines, but no airport to put them in.

Those machines, as you might suspect, aren’t cheap. Each one is worth about $160,000, meaning that the displaced devices have come at a total price of $40 million.

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