WEDNESDAY, JULY 4: The long awaited X-ray machine at the docks will be turned on today for the first time, the Bermuda Sun can reveal.

Dockworkers will finish early this afternoon at 3:30pm so HM Customs can test the scanner, which is designed to prevent guns and ammunition being smuggled into Bermuda through the port in Hamilton.

Radiation levels

The levels of radiation emitted from the multi-million dollar machine will be carefully monitored during the test, which is scheduled to take place at 4pm.

Assistant Collector of Customs William Pearman said the scanner could be operational in just over two weeks.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “This will be the first time the new scanner is tested in Bermuda.

“Previously a factory acceptance test was conducted in China where the machine was manufactured.

“[On Wednesday] the machine will be switched on and the radiation emitted will be closely monitored.

Health and safety

“An overseas trainer has been conducting training sessions with customs officers and representatives from Stevedoring Services and the Truckers Association have been kept in the loop so they understand how the equipment operates.

“The Government Safety and Health Officer will be on hand and additionally two radiation dosimeters will be used to verify the readings and ensure that it is within the standards accepted for Bermuda. The next step will be for a site acceptance test to take place on July 17-19.

“After this the equipment will be ready for use.”