Government Planning Fly-Bys Of Marathon Route To Check For Radiation

A NNSA Bell 412 radiation detection helicopter taking off. Photo: Courtesy U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The federal NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) says it will do fly-bys of the Boston Marathon route between Thursday and Marathon Monday to check for radiation.

The agency, part of the Department of Energy, says it is measuring background radiation "to protect public health and safety" on the day of the Marathon. That means a U.S. government Bell 412 helicopter will be flying low, around 150 feet over the marathon route in a grid pattern at about 80 mph.

NEST — the team running the flights — specializes in finding and eliminating nuclear weapons.

The NNSA does similar fly-bys before every Boston Marathon. The agency said it was just letting the public know to make sure no one is alarmed.

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