Wednesday, July 16, 2008

GAO Report: Dirty Bomb Security Measures Three Years Behind Schedule

Radioactive Materials Remain Unsecured

The Government Accountability Office says the U.S. has taken too long to secure radioactive materials that could produce, in terrorists' hands, a "dirty bomb".

According to a GAO report:

A GAO report states:

“Radioactive sealed sources, which are commonly used throughout the world for a variety of purposes, are radioactive materials sealed in a capsule or permanently bonded in a solid form. These sealed sources are used in medicine and in the oil and gas, electric power, construction, and food industries.

“For example, devices containing radioactive sealed sources are used to diagnose and treat millions of patients each year, sterilize items such as medical instruments and food, and detect flaws in the metal welds in pipelines. Currently, about 2 million sealed sources are licensed for use in the United States.

“Since terrorists attacked the United States in 2001, concerns have grown that they could obtain and use sealed sources to build a “dirty bomb” — a type of radiological dispersal device (RDD) that uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive material.”

The GAO reported that the requirements for securing radioactive materials are over three years behind schedule.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to address the problem--as soon as the proper reports are filled out in triplicate and signed in such a way that no (in case of a dirty bomb attack) will be held responsible.

by Mondoreb
image: jplabs
* GAO Warns of 'Dirty Bomb' Threat

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