Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 21, 2006

GAO report on rad/nuke response issues

Filed under: Preparedness and Response,Radiological & Nuclear Threats — by Christian Beckner on September 21, 2006

The GAO issued a report today entitled “Federal Efforts to Respond to Nuclear and Radiological Threats and to Protect Emergency Response Capabilities Could Be Strengthened,” which takes a look at a couple of issues related to the nation’s abilities to respond to a catastrophic radiological or nuclear attack.

The report makes two key points: first, that DOE’s two key emergency response facilities, at Andrews and Nellis AFB, have inadequate physical security; and second, that DOE should conduct additional aerial surveys of major cities to establish a baseline for background radiation and potentially locate existing unknown radiation sources – as was the case when New York City conducted an aerial survey in 2005 and found an old industrial site that was previously unknown to be contaminated with radium.

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