"Candy Store" for Terrorists
The Rad Journal first
reported that the storage of Cesium was a security problem across the
USA. See: Decommissioning and Disposal Options for
Cesium-137 Blood Irradiators at; http://www.radjournal.com/articles/Cesium/Cesiumdisposal.htm
Lisa reported that David Kay, a former UN Inspector, said, "The Department of Energy, at least, has not gotten the lessons of 9-11. The lesson of 9-11 is that terrorists may come to our shores and collect the instrument of their terror here."
The GAO report finds the department has not yet recovered 4,380 sources of radioactive material it knows of including enough plutonium 239 to make two crude nuclear bombs and does not even know how many more potentially dangerous materials are out there.
Ms. Myers reported
that Sen. Daniel Akaka, the Hawaii Democrat who ordered the report, said
the situation is appalling. Anyone, including terrorists, may be able
to obtain the materials, he said. Fairly easily, yes.
The nonpartisan GAO concluded that securing the radioactive materials is not a priority for the department and the program to recover the materials did not receive full funding.
Energy Department officials declined an interview with Lisa at NBC News, but were reported to have stated they have recovered more than 6,000 sources of radioactive material in the last two years, and that they have enough money to do the job. Still, many universities complain they are stuck with dangerous materials because the U.S. government claims that a facility at Los Alamos can't take any more of the material.
Lisa reported that Andy Karam, a radiation safety official with the University of Rochester said. "We shouldn't be asked to hang onto a source at a university that could potentially pose a security risk."
The report also charges that the Energy Department has made no progress in building a permanent disposal site for radioactive materials something it was ordered to do 17 years ago.
Disposal Options for Cesium-137 Blood Irradiators at http://www.radjournal.com/articles/Cesium/Cesiumdisposal.htm