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ISU to help develop screen system

| November 15, 2010 8:00 PM

POCATELLO (AP) - An Idaho university is slated to help a Kentucky-based company develop a cargo and baggage screening system aimed at improving the detection of dangerous materials, such as explosives.

Valley Forge Composite Technologies hopes to partner with Idaho State University Accelerator Center to develop the system, which the company plans to manufacture in Pocatello.

The THOR LVX scanning system uses high-energy gamma rays, instead of X-rays, and has a 99.9 percent detection rate, according to the Covington, Ky.-based company.

The system is designed for use as part of cargo and airport baggage screening, border crossings, military bases, and security at public buildings, plants and ports.

The company plans to first build a demo unit before it sets up a more permanent presence in eastern Idaho, said Valley Forge vice president Keith McClellan.

"If all goes well, we plan to manufacture them here," McClellan told the Idaho State Journal.

He said it would be premature to speculate on how many local jobs would be created if the company decided to manufacture the $8 million systems in Pocatello.

The company is working to finalize an agreement with the university's accelerator center, McClellan said. The center would help build the systems, train employees and then test the equipment.

"They are world-class experts at the Accelerator Center and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them," McClellan said.

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