Bogus Company Obtains Nuclear Material

One wonders just what the hell is going on here?  A Congressional Panel forms a company that has no other substance than a mailbox, and within a month received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to obtain enough nuclear material to manufacture a small ‘dirty’ bomb.

No one at the NRC investigated the application to ensure the company was legitimate.  As a matter of fact, they helped the panel with the paperwork.

Do you wonder if they helped a bad guy, like I am?

While the NRC now claims ‘all has been rectified, the Government Accounting Office unveiled that certain issues still exist, and they are now working on closing down any remaining issues in the system.

Considering the circumstances that arose as a result of governmental offices not conferring with each other (thanks to the Clintons!), one would think the first order of business would be to have the NRC completely investigating applicants together with the DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.  I mean, what the hell is going on here?

Yahoo carries the AP story.

We’ve fixed the problem,” said NRC Commissioner Edward McGaffigan in an interview Wednesday. He said that such licenses now will require visits to the company or in some cases company officials will have to come to NRC offices.

The license that was obtained allowed for the purchase of up to five portable moisture density gauges widely used in construction, in which are encased small amounts of cesium-137 and americium 241, two highly radioactive isotopes.

Individually, these devices pose little threat because of the small amount of radioactive material, radiation experts say. Still the devices require an NRC license to be purchased and must be closely safeguarded by companies that use them to avoid theft.

But the investigators from the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, found a way to purchase as many as 45 of the gauges and could have bought many more because they duplicated the NRC-issued license and removed the restrictions on the amount that could be purchased.

“With patience and the proper financial resources, we could have accumulated from other suppliers substantially more radioactive source material than what the two supplies initially agreed to ship to us,” says the GAO in a report prepared for Thursday’s hearing.

Coleman, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigations subcommittee, said the NRC “still has this good-faith assumption. The problem is there are bad-faith people out there.”

He said “there is no question” they could have obtained enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb because the GAO was able to duplicate the certificate and no one checked on the company or whether the counterfeit license was legitimate.

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