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July 15, 2016

NRC Must Do Better In Regulating Sales of Radioactive Materials

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report out today on The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its oversight of the selling of radioactive materials.  In the report, entitled “NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain,” GAO reveals that it was successful in creating a sham company to purchase radioactive material in one out of three covert test cases.  GAO also found that the NRC did not have strong enough regulations in place for all three levels of radioactive material deemed dangerous.

“Radiological and nuclear terrorism remains a threat to our nation's security. It is troubling to learn that the NRC does not review specific security measures before a license for certain dangerous, life threatening material is issued.  The NRC should re-evaluate its licensing requirements to ensure those who want to do us harm cannot obtain a license to purchase radioactive materials as easily as covert testers did. While GAO's findings are concerning, I am pleased that the Commission has issued a position paper based on the GAO's recommendations that NRC enhance license verification and transfer requirements for category 3 licenses.”

Link to Report

NRC Position Paper

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978