Hospitals With Radioactive Materials Show Weakness in Antiterror Rules

"Ten years into a campaign to make radioactive materials harder for terrorists to steal, Congressional auditors have found one hospital where cesium was kept in a padlocked room but the combination to the lock was written on the door frame and another where radioactive material was in a room with unsecured windows that looked out on a loading dock."

"In testimony prepared for delivery on Wednesday to a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee, an official from the Government Accountability Office plans to say that people with responsibility for security told the auditors that they were trained as physicists or radiation health technicians and were being told to enforce regulations 'that they did not believe they were fully qualified to interpret.'

The materials in question cannot be used to make a nuclear bomb, but if incorporated into a device with conventional explosives they would make a 'dirty bomb' that could contaminate significant areas of a city with measurable amounts of radiation, some of it worrisome."

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times March 14, 2012.

Source: NY Times, 03/14/2012