Carper: We must secure radiological material

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has raised concerns about the security of radiological material at industrial sites.

“The Government Accountability Office’s disturbing report leaves us with a clear message: Despite government efforts, dangerous materials used at industrial sites are far too vulnerable to theft or sabotage by terrorists or others wishing to do us harm,” Carper said Wednesday. “We must do better.”

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Carper serves as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He said the report found that material used to make dirty bombs were not being properly secured at hospitals, construction sites and universities. The GAO report found four instances where radiological material was stolen. 

“Given the consequences of a dirty bomb, there really is no excuse for the vulnerabilities identified by GAO,” Carper said. “I will make sure key federal agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, urgently implement GAO’s recommendations and work together to address this critical issue.”

The GAO report said there were systematic problems with how Nuclear Regulatory Commission polices its unsupervised access to the materials, which lead to major security lapses.