Magazine article Security Management

Radioactive Material

Magazine article Security Management

Radioactive Material

Article excerpt

RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received public comments on its proposed rule to track radioactive material within the United States.

The system set out in the proposed rule would require those licensed to use this radioactive material to report the manufacture, transfer, receipt, or disposal of that material. To start the program, each licensee would be required to provide the government with its inventory of radioactive material and to assign a unique serial number to each item.

The NRC received 33 comments to its proposed rule. The commission is now reviewing the comments and preparing a revised rule. While most of those who provided comments praised the intent of the program, many commentators suggested improvements. Some respondents urged the NRC to drop the tracking of some low-radiation sources from the program and to exempt reporting duties for those working on temporary job sites. In addition, some respondents expressed concern about the security of the tracking database.

In the proposed rule, the NRC includes tracking of "category three" sources. These are items--used predominately in medical facilities and oil drilling equipment--that contain little radioactive material and could not be used as a weapon. The NRC expressed concern, however, that terrorists might combine several category-three sources to obtain enough radiation to be harmful.

Several commenters argued that sufficient tracking of such sources is already required by the NRC. …

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