oversight

Nuclear Security: Federal and State Action Needed to Improve Security of Sealed Radioactive Sources

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-08-06.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

              United States General Accounting Office

GAO           Report to the Ranking Minority Member,
              Subcommittee on Financial Management,
              the Budget, and International Security,
              Committee on Governmental Affairs,
              U.S. Senate
August 2003
              NUCLEAR SECURITY
              Federal and State
              Action Needed to
              Improve Security of
              Sealed Radioactive
              Sources




GAO-03-804
              a
                                               August 2003


                                               NUCLEAR SECURITY

                                               Federal and State Action Needed to
Highlights of GAO-03-804, a report to          Improve Security of Sealed Radioactive
Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee
on Financial Management, the Budget,           Sources
and International Security, Committee on
Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate




Sealed radioactive sources,
radioactive material encapsulated              The number of sealed sources in the United States is unknown because NRC
in stainless steel or other metal, are         and states track numbers of licensees instead of individual sealed sources.
used worldwide in medicine,                    Users of certain devices containing sealed sources are not required to apply
industry, and research. These                  to NRC for a license. Accounting for these devices has been difficult. In
sealed sources could be a threat to            addition, since 1998, more than 1,300 incidents have taken place in the
national security because terrorists           United States where sealed sources have been lost, stolen, or abandoned.
could use them to make “dirty                  The majority of these lost devices were recovered.
bombs.” GAO was asked to
determine (1) the number of sealed             Security for sealed sources varied among the facilities GAO visited in 10
sources in the United States, (2)              states. Also, a potential security weakness exists in NRC’s licensing process
the number of sealed sources lost,             to obtain sealed sources. Approved applicants may buy sealed sources as
stolen, or abandoned, (3) the                  soon as a new license is issued by mail. Because the process assumes that
effectiveness of federal and state             the applicant is acting in good faith and it can take NRC as long as 12 months
controls over sealed sources, and              before conducting an inspection, it is possible that sealed sources can be
(4) the Nuclear Regulatory                     obtained for malicious intent. In addition, NRC currently evaluates the
Commission (NRC) and state                     effectiveness of state regulatory programs, but these evaluations do not
efforts since September 11, 2001, to
strengthen security of sealed
                                               assess the security of sealed sources.
sources.                                       Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, NRC and states have
                                               notified licensees of the need for heightened awareness to security, but have
                                               not required any specific actions to improve security. NRC has been
GAO recommends that NRC (1)                    developing additional security measures since the attacks, and issued the
collaborate with states to                     first security order to large facilities that irradiate such items as medical
determine availability of highest              supplies and food on June 5, 2003. Additional orders to licensees that
risk sealed sources, (2) determine             possess high risk sealed sources are expected to follow. NRC and states
if owners of certain devices should            disagree over the appropriate role of states in efforts to improve security.
apply for licenses, (3) modify                 NRC intends to develop and implement all additional security measures on
NRC’s licensing process so sealed              licensees with sealed sources, including those licensed by states. However,
sources cannot be purchased until              over 80 percent of states responding to our survey feel they should be given
NRC verifies their intended use, (4)           responsibility to inspect and enforce security measures.
ensure that NRC’s evaluation of
federal and state programs assess              Number of Medical, Industrial, and Research Users of Sealed Sources (About 20,000 Total
security of sealed sources, and (5)            Nationwide) as of December 31, 2002
determine how states can
participate in implementing
additional security measures. NRC
stated that some of our
recommendations would require
statutory changes. We clarified our
report language to address this
concern. Agreement states and an
organization of radiation experts
agreed with our recommendations.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-804.

To view the full report, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Gene Aloise at
(202) 512-6870 or aloisee@gao.gov.
Contents



Letter                                                                                                   1
                             Results in Brief                                                            4
                             Background                                                                  7
                             NRC and the Agreement States Lack Complete Information on
                               Numbers of Sealed Sources                                                 9
                             Over 1,300 Devices Containing Sealed Sources Have Been Reported
                               Lost, Stolen, or Abandoned Since 1998                                    17
                             Weaknesses Exist in Federal and State Controls Over the Security of
                               Sealed Sources                                                           20
                             NRC Efforts to Improve Security over Sealed Sources Have Been
                               Limited and Disagreement Exists over the Appropriate Role of the
                               States                                                                   27
                             Conclusions                                                                32
                             Recommendations for Executive Action                                       33
                             Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         34


Appendixes
               Appendix I:   Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                         40
              Appendix II:   Medical and Industrial Devices That Use Sealed Sources                     45
                             Irradiators                                                                45
                             Teletherapy                                                                46
                             Industrial Radiography                                                     47
                             Brachytheraphy                                                             48
                             Well Logging Device                                                        50
                             Fixed Industrial Gauge                                                     52
                             Portable Gauge                                                             53
             Appendix III:   Legislation Introduced in the 108th Congress Addressing
                             Security of Sealed Sources                                                 57
              Appendix IV:   Results of Survey of Agreement States                                      59
              Appendix V:    Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States                                  94
             Appendix VI:    Comments from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission                           116
             Appendix VII:   GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                     119
                             GAO Contact                                                               119
                             Acknowledgments                                                           119


Tables                       Table 1: Number of Specific Licenses Issued By Use in the United
                                      States as of December 31, 2002                                    13



                             Page i                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
          Contents




          Table 2: Type and Size of Sealed Sources Used in Medical and
                   Industrial Practices                                                          55


Figures   Figure 1: NRC Regulated Specific Licenses in NRC Regulated
                     States and on Federal Facilities in Agreement States as of
                     December 31, 2002                                                           11
          Figure 2: Agreement State Regulated Specific Licenses as of
                     December 31, 2002                                                           12
          Figure 3: Results of Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation
                     Program Reviews                                                             25
          Figure 4: Product Conveyor System in a Panoramic Irradiator                            46
          Figure 5: Stereotactic Radiosurgery Device (Gamma Knife)                               47
          Figure 6: Industrial Radiography Camera and Storage Case                               48
          Figure 7: High Dose Rate Remote After Loader Used for
                     Brachytherapy                                                               50
          Figure 8: Storage Container for Well Logging Sealed Source                             52
          Figure 9: Fixed Industrial Gauge                                                       53
          Figure 10: Portable Moisture/Density Gauge                                             54




          Abbreviations

          CFR          Code of Federal Regulations
          CRCPD        Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors
          DOE          Department of Energy
          DOT          Department of Transportation
          GAO          General Accounting Office
          NRC          Nuclear Regulatory Commission
          OAS          Organization of Agreement States



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          Page ii                                                      GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Letter

A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



                                    August 6, 2003                                                                              Leter




                                    The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka
                                    Ranking Minority Member
                                    Subcommittee on Financial Management,
                                     the Budget, and International Security
                                    Committee on Governmental Affairs
                                    United States Senate

                                    Dear Senator Akaka:

                                    Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks there has been concern that
                                    certain radioactive material, such as cobalt-60, strontium-90, iodine-131,
                                    cesium-137, iridium-192, and americium-241, could be used in the
                                    construction of a radiological dispersion device—commonly referred to as
                                    a “dirty bomb.” Such radioactive materials are used in devices that treat
                                    cancer, sterilize food and medical instruments, and detect flaws in
                                    pipelines and other types of metal welds. Much of the radioactive material
                                    used in these devices is encapsulated, or sealed, in metal such as stainless
                                    steel, titanium, or platinum to prevent its dispersal.1 A dirty bomb could be
                                    produced by using explosives in combination with radioactive material
                                    upon detonation. Most experts agree that the dispersed radioactive
                                    material would have few short-term health effects on exposed individuals
                                    and that the explosives, not the radioactive material, would likely cause the
                                    greatest amount of immediate injuries, fatalities, and property damage.
                                    However, a dirty bomb—depending on the type, form, amount, and
                                    concentration of radioactive material used—could cause radiation
                                    exposure in individuals in close proximity to the material for an extended
                                    time and potentially increase the long-term risks of cancer for those
                                    contaminated. In addition, the evacuation and cleanup of contaminated
                                    areas after such an explosion could lead to panic and serious economic
                                    costs on the affected population.

                                    Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
                                    (NRC) regulates domestic medical, industrial, and research uses of sealed
                                    sources through a combination of regulatory requirements, licensing,


                                    1
                                     Some loose material, such as iodine-131, used in thyroid cancer treatments, and
                                    technetium-99m, commonly used in medical imaging procedures is not in sealed source
                                    form. However, for simplicity this report uses the term “sealed source” to refer to all
                                    radioactive materials used for medical, industrial, and research purposes.




                                    Page 1                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
inspection, and enforcement. Section 274 of the act authorizes NRC to give
primary regulatory authority to states (called “agreement” states) under
certain conditions.2 To date, NRC has relinquished its licensing, inspection,
and enforcement authority to 32 agreement states that administer the use
of sealed sources within their jurisdictions;3 while continuing to regulate
the use of sealed sources in the remaining states. NRC periodically
evaluates each agreement state’s regulatory program for compatibility with
NRC regulations and its effectiveness in protecting public health and safety.
Two types of licenses are associated with the use of radioactive materials—
general licenses and specific licenses. A generally licensed device usually
contains a sealed source within a shielded device, such as gas
chromatograph units, fixed gauges, luminous exit signs, or reference and
check sources. Such devices are designed with inherent radiation safety
features so that persons with little or no radiation training or experience
can use it, and as such do not require NRC or agreement state approval to
purchase and are widely commercially available. Specific licenses cover
uses, such as cameras used for industrial radiography, medical devices
used to treat cancer, and facilities that irradiate food or medical products
for sterilization. These uses generally require larger amounts of radioactive
material than can be obtained with a general license. Organizations or
individuals wanting to obtain a specific license must submit an application
and gain the approval of either NRC or an agreement state. In addition to
NRC and agreement states, other federal agencies, such as the Department
of Transportation, the Food and Drug Administration, and the
Environmental Protection Agency, regulate the safe transportation,
medical use, and cleanup of radioactive material. The Department of



2
 The purpose of section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 2021)
is to recognize the interest of the states in the peaceful uses of atomic energy and to
establish programs for cooperation between the states and NRC to control the radiation
hazards associated with the use of radioactive materials. While it details procedures for
NRC to relinquish its regulatory authority to the states for medical, industrial, and research
uses of radioactive materials, NRC retains sole regulatory authority over, among other
things, nuclear power plants and the export and import of radioactive materials. In addition,
NRC retains regulatory authority over federal facilities (such as Department of Defense
bases or Veterans Administration hospitals)—see 10 C.F.R. § 30.6(b)(2).
3
 At the time of our report, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida,
Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
Utah, and Washington were agreement states. NRC expects Wisconsin will become an
agreement state in the summer of 2003.




Page 2                                                          GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Energy (DOE) regulates the use of radioactive material at its facilities and
at the national laboratories.

This report—the third that we have prepared at your request to examine
efforts to control sealed radioactive sources—examines efforts in the
United States to regulate the use of sealed sources domestically and to
prevent the use of this material by terrorists.4 Specifically, you asked us to
determine (1) the known number of sealed sources in the United States; (2)
how many of these sealed sources have been lost, stolen, or abandoned; (3)
the effectiveness of federal and state controls over sealed sources; and (4)
NRC’s and agreement states’ efforts considered or implemented following
September 11, 2001, to strengthen security of sealed sources. To address
these objectives, we distributed a survey to radiation control agencies in
the 32 agreement states, the 18 non-agreement states, the District of
Columbia, and Puerto Rico to determine numbers and types of radioactive
materials licenses in their jurisdictions and to solicit their views on the
regulation of sealed sources. At the time of this report, all of the agreement
states except Arizona, 11 non-agreement states, and Puerto Rico had
responded to our survey. We did not receive responses from the following
non-agreement states—Alaska, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri,
Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and the District of
Columbia.5 We also surveyed and interviewed officials in the four NRC
regional offices; interviewed officials at NRC headquarters in Rockville,
Maryland; and analyzed NRC license and incident databases. In addition,
we observed NRC evaluations of the effectiveness of state regulatory
programs in Rhode Island and Florida and a similar evaluation of NRC’s
Region III radioactive materials regulatory program in Lisle, Illinois. We
visited 10 states to meet with officials of state radiation control agencies



4
 Our report, U.S. General Accounting Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: DOE Action Needed
to Ensure Continued Recovery of Unwanted Sealed Radioactive Sources, GAO-03-483
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 15, 2003) examined DOE’s efforts to recover and dispose of
unwanted “greater-than-Class-C” sources—sources that typically contain greater
concentrations of isotopes such as plutonium-238, plutonium-239, and americium-241, that
cannot be disposed of at existing low-level radioactive waste facilities. Our report, U.S.
General Accounting Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: U.S. and International Assistance
Efforts to Control Sealed Radioactive Sources Need Strengthening, GAO-03-638
(Washington, D.C.: May 16, 2003) examined international efforts conducted by the United
States, the Russian Federation, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and others to
control sealed sources.
5
 Although we did not receive surveys from these states, we obtained data on incidents
involving sealed sources and numbers and types of licensees from NRC.




Page 3                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                   and selected licensees representing a variety of types and uses of sealed
                   sources. Appendix I presents our scope and methodology in more detail.



Results in Brief   The precise number of sealed sources in use today in the United States is
                   unknown. NRC estimates that there are approximately 2 million sealed
                   sources in the United States. This estimate is based on the number of
                   specific and general licensees from NRC’s databases and agreement states
                   combined with data from an NRC survey conducted in the early 1990s. NRC
                   and agreement states do not track the actual numbers of sealed sources,
                   but only track the number of specific licensees and have limited data on
                   general licensees. NRC, in cooperation with DOE, has begun examining
                   options for developing a national sealed source tracking system, but this
                   effort is limited in scope; importantly, it has had only limited involvement
                   of the agreement states. Our analysis of NRC’s specific license database
                   and responses to our survey of agreement states indicate that about 20,000
                   entities (companies, hospitals, organizations, and in some cases,
                   individuals) have obtained specific licenses to possess and use radioactive
                   material, including sealed sources. Agreement states regulate 80 percent of
                   these entities, while NRC regulates the remaining 20 percent.

                   NRC has had difficulty accounting for generally licensed devices. Owners
                   of these devices are not required to apply to NRC or agreement states for
                   licenses. Mishandling and improper disposal of generally licensed devices
                   has, in some cases, lead to expensive investigation and clean up. NRC
                   began tracking generally licensed devices in April 2001, but has
                   experienced problems locating device owners. To assist in this effort, NRC
                   has contracted with a private investigation firm to help locate owners. In
                   order to improve accountability over generally licensed devices, we are
                   recommending that NRC determine the need to require owners of these
                   devices to apply for specific licenses and whether the additional costs
                   presented by applying for and approving specific licenses are
                   commensurate with the risks these devices present.

                   Since 1998, there have been more than 1,300 reported incidents of lost,
                   stolen, or abandoned devices containing sealed sources, an average of
                   about 250 per year. The majority of these devices were subsequently
                   recovered. Both NRC and DOE recognize the importance of determining
                   how many sealed sources are present in the United States, and which
                   sealed sources pose the greatest risk if they were to be used in a dirty
                   bomb. NRC and DOE are working together to categorize sealed sources by
                   their level of risk. However, NRC’s and DOE’s efforts are limited in scope



                   Page 4                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
because they do not include an analysis of sealed sources in the agreement
states, which regulate 80 percent of the nation’s radioactive materials
licensees. This is because there is no single source of data on agreement
state licensees; instead each state has its own database of the licensees it
regulates. These databases are not linked to one another and NRC does not
have access to them. Therefore, we are recommending that NRC as part of
its continuing efforts to categorize the sealed sources that pose the greatest
risk, consult with the agreement states to determine the types, amount, and
availability of the highest risk sealed sources.

Weaknesses exist in federal and state controls over the security of sealed
sources. Our visits to radiation control programs and licensees in 10 states
found that security for devices containing sealed sources varied among
facilities we visited. For example, a medical device manufacturer that we
visited had extensive security measures, including electronic access
control to areas containing sealed sources, perimeter fencing, and
background checks on employees. On the other hand, a medical use
licensee that we visited kept its sealed sources in an unlocked, unguarded
space with the door propped open. In addition, we found a potential
security weakness in NRC’s licensing process to obtain sealed sources. The
process assumes an applicant is acting in good faith and allows applicants
to acquire sealed sources as soon as a new license is issued by mail. It can
then take NRC as long as 12 months to conduct its first inspection, leaving
the possibility that materials will be obtained and used maliciously in the
meantime. Certain agreement states have implemented measures to
address this weakness, such as delivering licenses in person or conducting
inspections before the delivery of sealed sources. In addition, NRC
currently evaluates the effectiveness of state regulatory programs, but
these evaluations do not assess the security of sealed sources. To address
security weaknesses, we are recommending that NRC modify its licensing
process to ensure that radioactive sources cannot be purchased before
NRC verifies that the material will be used as intended. We are also
recommending that NRC modify its evaluations of agreement state and
NRC programs to include criteria and performance measures of program
effectiveness in ensuring the security of sealed sources.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, NRC, along with the
agreement states, has notified licensees of the need for heightened
awareness to security and the need to take certain actions, but has not
issued, until recently, legally binding orders to improve the security of
sealed sources. NRC has been developing specific additional security
measures since the attacks, and issued orders on June 5, 2003, to



Page 5                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
strengthen security at large irradiator facilities. Although irradiator
facilities contain large amounts of radioactive material, they are specially
designed to include thick concrete and steel walls, security interlocks, and
other protective equipment to protect against radiation exposure and
secure the sealed sources. In light of such built-in security, agreement state
officials and others have questioned NRC’s decision to select irradiators as
the first recipient of additional security measures. Of agreement states
responding to our survey, 93 percent identified sealed sources used in
industrial radiography as of greater concern. Reasons for this may include
that these devices are widely available and portable.

NRC and some agreement states disagree on the appropriate role of the
states in the regulation of sealed source security. The Atomic Energy Act of
1954 gives NRC the authority to issue rules, regulations, or orders to
promote the common defense and security and to protect the health and
minimize danger to life or property. Based on this authority, NRC intends to
order licensees with sealed sources, including those licensed by agreement
states, to implement additional security measures. NRC has already done
so for large irradiator facilities. However, 82 percent of agreement states
responding to our survey indicate that they want to have responsibility for
inspection and enforcement of security measures for sealed sources. In
addition, 74 percent of agreement states responding to our survey indicated
that their state program could effectively respond to a radiological incident
with its current resources. NRC officials argue that the agreement states
lack the staff and funding to carry out the additional responsibility of
securing sealed sources. However, according to NRC officials we
contacted, NRC clearly faces similar staffing and funding problems. NRC
has initiated a materials security working group, which includes the states,
as a mechanism for discussing and identifying potential resolutions to
these issues. We are recommending that NRC determine how agreement
and non-agreement states can participate in the development and
implementation of additional security measures over sealed sources.

We presented a draft of this report to NRC, the Conference of Radiation
Control Program Directors (CRCPD), and the Organization of Agreement
States (OAS) for comment. NRC stated that the draft report did not fully
present either the current status of NRC’s efforts to improve the security of
high-risk radioactive sources or the large effort that NRC has devoted to
this issue over the past 18 months. NRC believed that several of our
recommendations would require statutory changes at both federal and
state levels. We clarified our recommendations regarding the participation
of the states in the development and implementation of additional security



Page 6                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
             measures. CRCPD and OAS officials generally agreed with our conclusions
             and recommendations.



Background   Radioactive material in sealed sources is used in equipment designed to
             diagnose and treat illnesses (particularly cancer), irradiate food and
             medical products for sterilization purposes, detect flaws and other failures
             in pipeline and other types of metal welds, and determine the moisture
             content of soil and other materials.6 Until the 1950s, only naturally
             occurring radioactive materials, such as radium-226, were available to be
             used in sealed sources. Since then, sealed sources containing radioactive
             material produced artificially in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators
             have become widely available, including cobalt-60, strontium-90,
             technetium-99m, cesium-137, and iridium-192. Under the Atomic Energy
             Act of 1954, the states retain sole regulatory authority over most naturally
             occurring radioactive material as well as radioactive material produced in
             particle accelerators. Federal jurisdiction extends only to those materials
             used as a source of material for nuclear fuel or created as a result of
             irradiation in nuclear reactors.

             Radioactive material can be found in various forms. For example, cobalt-60
             is a metal, while the cesium-137 in some sealed sources is in a powder form
             closely resembling talc. Radioactive materials never stop emitting
             radiation, but their intensity decays over time at various rates. The term
             “half-life” is used to indicate the period during which the radioactivity
             decreases by half as a result of decay. Radioactive materials are measured
             by their level of activity. The greater the activity level—measured in units
             called curies7—the more radiation emitted, which increases the potential
             risk to the public if the radioactive materials are lost or stolen.




             6
              See appendix II for a discussion of medical and industrial devices that use radioactive
             sources.
             7
              The curie is the unit of measurement most commonly used in the United States. The
             corresponding international standard unit, the Bequerel (Bq) is the activity equal to one
             radioactive disintegration per second. One bequerel=2.7 x 10-11 curies.




             Page 7                                                         GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Two types of licenses are associated with the use of radioactive materials—
general licenses and specific licenses. A generally licensed device usually
consists of a sealed source within a shielded device, such as gas
chromatograph units, fixed gauges, luminous exit signs, or reference and
check sources. These devices are designed with inherent radiation safety
features so that persons with little or no radiation training or experience
can use it. General licensees are automatically licensed without having to
apply to NRC or an agreement state for a license and are subject to a
variety of requirements under NRC’s or agreement states’ regulations.8
Furthermore, manufacturers are required to report quarterly to NRC the
names of customers who purchase generally licensed devices. Examples of
requirements general licensees are subject to under NRC’s regulations
include:

• general licensees shall not abandon the devices;

• complying with instructions and precautions listed on device labels;

• performing tests to ensure radioactivity is not leaking from the device at
  least every 6 months, and, if leakage is detected, suspend operation of
  the device and have it repaired or disposed of by the manufacturer or
  another entity authorized to perform such work; and

• reporting to NRC or an agreement state the transfer of a device to
  another licensee or the disposal of the device.

A company seeking radioactive material for uses that do not qualify for a
general license must apply to NRC or, if it conducts business in an
agreement state, to the appropriate state for a specific license. Its
application must demonstrate how the use of the materials will meet the
safety requirements in NRC’s or agreement states’ regulations.9 Applicants
must provide information on the type, form, and intended quantity of
material, the facilities in which the material will be used, the qualifications
of users of the materials, and radiation protection programs the applicant
has in place to protect their workers and the public from receiving
excessive doses of radiation.



8
NRC’s regulations are at 10 C.F.R. § 31.5.
9
NRC’s regulations are at 10 C.F.R. Parts 19-21, 30-39, 40, 61, 70, and 71.




Page 8                                                           GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
NRC and the                The number of sealed sources in use today in the United States is unknown
                           primarily because no state or federal agency tracks individual sealed
Agreement States Lack      sources. Instead, NRC and the agreement states track numbers of specific
Complete Information       licensees. NRC and DOE have begun to examine options for developing a
                           national tracking system, but to date, this effort has had limited
on Numbers of Sealed       involvement by the agreement states. NRC had difficulty locating owners of
Sources                    certain generally licensed devices it began tracking in April 2001 and has
                           hired a private investigation firm to help locate them. Twenty-five of the 31
                           agreement states that responded to our survey indicated that they track
                           some or all general licensees or generally licensed devices, and 17 were
                           able to provide data on the number of generally licensed devices in their
                           jurisdictions, totaling approximately 17,000 devices.



NRC and Agreement States   NRC estimates that there are approximately 2 million licensed sealed
Track Licensees Rather     sources in the United States. However, there is no single source of
                           information in the United States to verify authorized users, locations,
Than Individual Sealed     quantities, and movements of sealed sources. Separate systems are in place
Sources                    at NRC and in each agreement state to track the identities of specific
                           licensees and the maximum quantity of radioactive material that they are
                           authorized to possess. These systems do not, however, record the number
                           of sealed sources actually possessed by specific licensees nor do the
                           systems track movements (such as purchase, transfer, or disposal) of
                           sealed sources by specific licensees. Licensees are required to maintain
                           records for the acquisition and disposition of each sealed source it receives
                           and inspections by NRC and/or an agreement state includes confirming
                           inventory records.

                           The Secretary of Energy and the Chairman of NRC established a working
                           group in June 2002 to address, among other things, the options for
                           establishing a national source tracking system and the potential for the use
                           of technological methods for tagging and monitoring sealed sources in use,
                           storage, and transit. This working group reported in May 2003 that a
                           national source tracking system should provide a “cradle to grave” account
                           of the origins of each high-risk source, and record how, by whom, and
                           where a source has been transported, used, and eventually disposed of or
                           exported. According to the report, such a system would help NRC and DOE
                           to:

                           • monitor the location and use of sealed sources,




                           Page 9                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
• detect and act on discrepancies,

• conduct inspections and investigations,

• communicate sealed source information to other government agencies,

• respond in the event of an emergency,

• verify legitimate ownership and use of sealed sources, and

• further analyze hazards attributable to the possession and use of sealed
  sources.

The working group did not determine how data on sealed source licensees
in the agreement states would be integrated into a national level system.

While there are no complete data on the number of sealed sources in the
United States, data are available on the number of specific licensees
authorized to use sealed sources. Analysis of NRC’s specific license
database and responses to our survey of the agreement states indicates that
there are about 20,000 specific licensees in the United States (see figs. 1
and 2). The majority (nearly 80 percent) are regulated by the 32 agreement
states, the remaining 20 percent of specific licensees are regulated by NRC.




Page 10                                            GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Figure 1: NRC Regulated Specific Licenses in NRC Regulated States and on Federal Facilities in Agreement States as of
December 31, 2002




                                          Notes: NRC regulates specific licensees on federal facilities in agreement states.
                                          NRC also regulates 5 specific licensees in Guam, 120 specific licensees in Puerto Rico, and 7 specific
                                          licensees in the U.S. Virgin Islands.




                                          Page 11                                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Figure 2: Agreement State Regulated Specific Licenses as of December 31, 2002




                                         Our analysis of NRC’s license tracking system and responses to our survey
                                         of agreement states indicates that sealed sources for medical uses
                                         comprise the largest portion of specific licenses issued (see table 1).




                                         Page 12                                           GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Table 1: Number of Specific Licenses Issued By Use in the United States as of December 31, 2002

                                    Measuring          Industrial      Well   Irradiators-   Irradiators-
State                   Medical      systems        radiography     logging          large         small     Other        Total
Alabama                     153           185                 26         3              0              2         63        432
Alaska                       10             21                 7         0              0              1          5         44
Arizona                      NA            NA                NA         NA            NA             NA         NA         318
Arkansas                    118           128                 10         6              1              4         29        296
California                  655           799                 40        18              9             26       640       2,187
Colorado                     85           166                 12        10              0              4         79        356
Connecticut                  69             38                 3         0              0              3         63        176
Delaware                     19             16                 1         1              0              2         15         54
District of Columbia         18              6                 0         0              1              3         12         40
Florida                     866           367                 20         8              2             24       111       1,398
Georgia                     267           175                 13         1              2              5         66        529
Guam                          2              3                 0         0              0              0          0          5
Hawaii                       21             25                 3         1              0              1          5         56
Idaho                        20             36                 0         0              0              0         12         68
Illinois                    273           338                 18         7              4              8       125         773
Indiana                     144             86                 4         0              0              1         39        274
Iowa                         67           136                  6         0              0              5         27        241
Kansas                      130           142                 12        20              0              2         13        319
Kentucky                    158           180                  6         8              0              3         11        366
Louisiana                    NA            NA                NA         NA            NA             NA         NA         548
Maine                        47             57                 4         0              0              3         22        133
Maryland                    226           140                  2         0              7             19       169         563
Massachusetts               120           180                  7         0              2             13       239         561
Michigan                    250           168                  7         4              1              7         64        501
Minnesota                    56             49                 5         0              1              5         38        154
Mississippi                 118           157                 21         5              1              6         21        329
Missouri                    136             84                 7         0              0              3         56        286
Montana                      16             38                 1         0              0              2         11         68
Nebraska                     50             66                 4         0              3              4         19        146
Nevada                       86           130                  5         1              0              3         13        238
New Hampshire                27             39                 2         0              1              1         13         83
New Jersey                  239             98                 5         0              7             13       128         490
New Mexico                   44             99                 9        11              2              5         22        192
New York                    512           268                 25         2              2              4         38        851




                                          Page 13                                                   GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
(Continued From Previous Page)
                                                        Measuring             Industrial          Well       Irradiators-      Irradiators-
State                                 Medical            systems           radiography         logging              large            small        Other          Total
North Carolina                              266                   235                17               1                  4                 5         124           652
North Dakota                                  13                    37                 4              4                  0                 3            5           66
Ohio                                        341                   274                22               4                  2                 5         128           776
Oklahoma                                    111                   107                27              20                  0                 8          51           324
Oregon                                        88                  262                  8              0                  0                 4          97           459
Pennsylvania                                296                   215                11               4                  1               24          145           696
Puerto Rico                                   65                    35                 3              0                  2                 3          12           120
Rhode Island                                  22                    16                 6              0                  0                 1            9           54
South Carolina                              149                   145                22               0                  3                 1          50           370
South Dakota                                  17                    16                 0              0                  0                 0            7           40
Tennessee                                   261                   167                26               1                  2               10           99           566
Texas                                       672                   468               102              54                  7               19          241         1,563
Utah                                          38                  108                10               7                  1                 2          35           201
Vermont                                       13                    10                 0              0                  0                 2            7           32
U.S. Virgin Islands                             2                     4                0              0                  0                 0            1             7
Virginia                                    126                   155                12               2                  1                 6          57           359
Washington                                  110                   199                10               0                  0                 2          98           419
West Virginia                                 66                    89                 2              3                  0                 0          15           175
Wisconsin                                   106                     88                 9              0                  1                 7          52           263
Wyoming                                       17                    40                 2              3                  0                 0          10            72
Total                                    7,781                  7,090               578             209                70               284        3,411       20,289
Sources: NRC license tracking system and GAO survey of agreement states.

                                                                 Notes: NA=not available.
                                                                 Does not include licenses issued for naturally occurring or accelerator-produced radioactive materials
                                                                 in NRC regulated states. Twenty-nine of the 31 agreement states responding to our survey do not
                                                                 distinguish between materials regulated under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and naturally occurring
                                                                 or accelerator-produced radioactive materials in their licensing actions.
                                                                 Data for Arizona and Louisiana includes only the total number of licensees.


                                                                 Fixed and portable gauges used in industry to measure density, moisture
                                                                 content, thickness, and so forth, are the next most prevalent use of sealed
                                                                 sources, with nearly 7,100 specific licenses issued nationwide. Over 570
                                                                 specific licenses have been issued for industrial radiographers. In addition,
                                                                 there are 70 large irradiators (containing high levels, between 10,000 and 15
                                                                 million curies, of cobalt-60) across the United States used for the
                                                                 sterilization of food and medical products, and 284 smaller irradiators
                                                                 (containing less than 10,000 curies of, in most cases, cesium-137 and
                                                                 cobalt-60) used in hospitals and other facilities for sterilization of smaller




                                                                 Page 14                                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                             products, such as units of blood. The remaining specific licenses in the
                             United States are issued for a variety of purposes, including, among other
                             things, manufacturing and distribution of smoke detectors (containing
                             small amounts of americium-241), academic research, and disposal of
                             radioactive waste.



NRC Has Had Difficulty       While data exist on the numbers and locations of specific licenses in the
Finding Owners of            United States, complete data are not available on the numbers of general
                             licenses. In most cases general licensees are not required to apply to NRC
Generally Licensed Devices   or an agreement state for a license to possess and use a device. Therefore,
                             in the past, data on general licensees have come from manufacturers of
                             generally licensed devices that are required to report quarterly to NRC or
                             the agreement states the names of customers purchasing generally licensed
                             devices. According to NRC, approximately 40,000 general licensees possess
                             an estimated 600,000 generally licensed devices in the United States.
                             Although general licensees are required to follow NRC’s regulations, they
                             traditionally have little contact with NRC. Mishandling and improper
                             disposition of generally licensed devices has, on occasion, resulted in
                             limited radiation exposure to the public and, in some cases, entailed
                             expensive investigation, cleanup, and disposal activities. For example, two
                             incidents occurred in New Jersey in 1997 involving luminous exit signs
                             containing tritium. In May 1997, a 14-year old removed three tritium exit
                             signs from a demolition site near his home and opened one sign exposing
                             himself to radioactive material and contaminating his home. In October
                             1997, a patient at a state-run psychiatric hospital broke a tritium exit sign.
                             While no injuries resulted, the state spent more than $200,000 cleaning up
                             the hospital and disposing of the more than sixty barrels of radioactive
                             waste—primarily contaminated carpeting, furniture, bedding, and other
                             debris—from the incident.




                             Page 15                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
NRC amended its regulations effective February of 2001, to, among other
things, better enable NRC to verify and track the location, use, and
disposition of generally licensed devices. NRC focused its efforts to
improve accountability over generally licensed devices on a small subset of
devices that were determined to be of higher risk. The amended regulations
include a requirement for general licensees to register with NRC devices
that contain certain levels of radioactive material.10 General licensees
would be charged $450 to cover the costs of the registration program.

Beginning in April 2001, NRC mailed registration forms to about 2,800 of its
general licensees.11 As of May 2003, approximately 61 percent of them had
responded. Twenty-eight percent of the registration forms were returned as
undeliverable and the remaining 11 percent were not returned by the
general licensee, a response rate significantly lower than NRC expected.
According to NRC, a significant amount of the submitted information is
incomplete or inaccurate, requiring additional follow up that was not
anticipated. To help increase the response rate, phone calls are being made
in advance to locate general licensees before registration forms are sent to
ensure the responsible individuals at the correct addresses receive them. In
addition, NRC has contracted with a private investigation firm to help find
general licensees whose addresses in the database are incorrect.

Twenty-five of the 31 agreement states that responded to our survey said
that they require registration of some or all generally licensed devices.
Seventeen of these states were able to provide us with data on the number
of generally licensed devices they regulate. These 17 states estimate that
approximately 17,000 generally licensed devices are used in their
jurisdictions.




10
 10 C.F.R. § 31.5(c)(13). Registration is required for levels equal to or greater than 10
millicuries of cesium-137, 0.1 millicuries of strontium-90, 1 millicurie of cobalt-60, or 1
millicurie of any transuranic element (elements with atomic numbers higher than uranium).
11
 This registration effort did not include the agreement states because the agreement states
are not required to adopt compatible regulations requiring registration of generally licensed
devices until February 2004. Once all agreement states have adopted rules compatible to
NRC’s regulations, NRC says that it is considering coordinating with them to implement a
national level database that will incorporate data from agreement states and NRC regulated
states.




Page 16                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Over 1,300 Devices            Since 1998, there have been more than 1,300 incidents where devices
                              containing sealed sources have been reported lost, stolen, or abandoned in
Containing Sealed             the United States, an average of about 250 per year. The majority of these
Sources Have Been             lost devices were subsequently recovered. Both NRC and DOE recognize
                              the importance of not only determining how many sealed sources are
Reported Lost, Stolen,        present in the United States, but also which sealed sources pose the
or Abandoned Since            greatest risk if used in a dirty bomb. NRC and DOE are working together to
1998                          categorize sealed sources by their level of risk. However, NRC’s and DOE’s
                              efforts have not, to date, addressed sealed sources in the agreement states.



Majority of Lost and Stolen   Analysis of NRC’s Nuclear Materials Events Database indicates that,
Sealed Sources                between 1998 and 2002, there were over 1,300 incidents of lost, stolen, and
                              abandoned sealed sources. These losses averaged about 250 per year. Many
Subsequently Recovered        of these incidents involved stolen portable gauges that are used to measure
and Represented Little Risk   the moisture content and density of soils, concrete, or asphalt on
to the Public                 construction sites. By themselves, these gauges contain low amounts of
                              radioactive material and pose relatively little risk to the public. Portable
                              gauges are most often stolen from construction sites or from vehicles such
                              as pickup trucks. According to NRC and agreement state officials,
                              individuals stealing gauges are usually unaware that they contain
                              radioactive material, and they often abandon or return them once
                              discovering their contents. Nevertheless, responding to these incidents
                              takes time and resources. Well logging sources also account for a relatively
                              large number of lost and abandoned sources. One major oil services
                              company accounts for over 30 of the 132 total well logging sources
                              abandoned since 1998. These sources contain several curies of americium-
                              241 and cesium-137. These losses usually consisted of a sealed source
                              becoming lodged down a well and subsequently abandoned. The well is
                              filled with concrete and a marker is attached warning of the presence of
                              radioactive materials. In addition, sealed sources are occasionally
                              abandoned when companies owning them go bankrupt.

                              According to NRC, most sealed sources that are lost, stolen, or abandoned
                              are subsequently recovered. In the past 5 years, few incidents have
                              occurred involving what NRC considers high-risk sealed sources. For
                              example, in March 1999, an industrial radiography camera containing over
                              88 curies of iridium-192 (a quantity NRC considers to be of concern) was
                              stolen from a trailer at the radiographer’s home in Florida. The Florida
                              radiation control program, local law enforcement, and the Federal Bureau
                              of Investigation conducted an investigation, but never recovered the sealed



                              Page 17                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                             source. According to NRC, the iridium-192 in the sealed source has now
                             decayed to the point where it is no longer a high risk to the public.

                             Another example of lost or stolen sealed sources took place in a North
                             Carolina hospital in March 1998. During a quarterly inventory of a hospital’s
                             sealed sources, it was discovered that 19 sealed sources were missing,
                             containing an aggregate of over 600 millicuries of cesium-137—a highly
                             dispersible radioactive material. These sources included 18 cesium-137
                             sealed sources—which had been locked in a safe at the time of the
                             disappearance—and a new cesium-137 sealed source still stored in its
                             shipping container. The North Carolina radiation control program, NRC,
                             DOE, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an extensive joint
                             investigation. The investigation included air and ground searches using
                             radiation detection equipment. However, the sealed sources were not
                             recovered and a conclusion about the cause of the incident was not
                             reached.



NRC’s and DOE’s Efforts to   The working group established by the Secretary of Energy and the
Categorize Sealed Sources    Chairman of NRC in June 2002 was also tasked with determining which
                             radioactive materials pose the greatest risk if used in a dirty bomb. Their
of Greatest Concern Does
                             analysis was to provide a relative ranking of the degree of risk posed by
Not Include Sealed Sources   specific materials as a basis on which initial judgments can be made
in Agreement States          regarding specific protective measures to be developed for these materials.

                             Using experts from DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the task force
                             developed a methodology to systematically evaluate radioactive materials
                             for a dirty bomb. Researchers at Sandia considered the potential
                             dispersability of radioactive materials, the number of locations possessing
                             the material, the quantity of material possessed at each facility, and the
                             protective measures already applied to the material. The combination of
                             these factors yielded a “hazard index,” which serves as an expression of
                             relative concern. Specific radioactive materials were rated high, medium,
                             low, or very low, depending upon the degree of health risk posed for their
                             use in a dirty bomb.12 The analysis focused on the potential health effects of

                             12
                              See U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Radiological
                             Dispersion Devices: An Initial Study to Identify Radioactive Materials of Greatest
                             Concern and Approaches to Their Tracking, Tagging, and Disposition, (Washington, D.C.,
                             May 2003). The specific radioactive materials identified as highest priority for increased
                             protection in the near term have not been listed in the report. This information is “For
                             Official Use Only.”




                             Page 18                                                      GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
the use of radioactive materials in a dirty bomb and did not explicitly
address the psychological and economic consequences. According to an
NRC official, no specific data exists regarding how the public would react
to a dirty bomb, which complicates efforts to analyze its psychological
consequences.

The working group’s analysis included materials under an NRC license and
DOE’s control in the United States, excluding nuclear weapons materials,
radioactive materials in nuclear power plants, spent fuel, and other
radioactive waste. DOE’s and NRC’s report, however, did not consider
sealed sources held by the approximately 15,000 specific licensees in the
agreement states. Although the agreement states and NRC have similar
types of licensees, agreement states often have greater numbers of
licensees with certain types of sealed sources than NRC-regulated states.
For example, our survey of agreement states indicates that Texas has more
well logging specific licensees than any other state.13 In addition, states
exclusively regulate the use of naturally occurring and accelerator
produced radioactive materials. Agreement state officials told us that any
consideration of the risks presented by sealed sources needs to include all
materials regulated by NRC and the agreement states because the
psychological and economic consequences of a dirty bomb are likely to be
similar whether the radioactive material is naturally or artificially
produced. NRC plans to work with the states to implement follow-up
actions based on the recommendations in the DOE/NRC report.
Vulnerability studies have been initiated to identify security vulnerabilities
and appropriate security enhancements. Scenarios involving the
aggregation of sources in a single location will be considered. In addition,
methods for improved tracking of the locations of sources will be
developed.




13
 Well logging is a process that uses sealed sources and/or unsealed radioactive materials to
determine whether a well, drilled deep into the ground, contains minerals, such as coal, oil,
and natural gas.




Page 19                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Weaknesses Exist in            Weaknesses exist in federal and state controls over the security of sealed
                               sources.14 Security for devices containing sealed sources varied among
Federal and State              facilities we visited in 10 states. In addition, NRC’s licensing process to
Controls Over the              obtain sealed sources presents a potential security weakness, namely that
                               approved applicants may purchase sealed sources as soon as a new license
Security of Sealed             is issued by mail. Because the process assumes that the applicant is acting
Sources                        in good faith, it is possible that sealed sources can be obtained for
                               malicious intent. It can take as long as 12 months before NRC conducts its
                               first inspection of the sealed source holder, potentially allowing sealed
                               sources to be obtained and used maliciously without NRC’s knowledge.



Security at Facilities Using   During visits to licensees, regulated by both NRC and agreement states, we
Sealed Sources Varies          found a varied level of security provided to sealed sources. A medical
                               device manufacturer we visited in an agreement state had extensive
                               security measures in place to protect sealed sources. For example, a heavy
                               iron fence surrounds the building and guards are on duty to monitor the
                               facility 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. For shielding and security, the
                               concrete walls and ceiling containing the radioactive materials are more
                               than 6 feet thick. All areas housing materials have electronic locks
                               requiring a 4-digit code and card access. Visitors must be pre-arranged and
                               escorted at all times. Background and drug checks are conducted on all
                               personnel before hiring. Once hired, they are provided with varying degrees
                               of building access, depending upon their duties. Eighteen staff members
                               are fully trained in emergency response for hazardous materials and every
                               employee is required to complete a 3-hour training course on radioactive
                               materials and refresher training sessions are held frequently. Following the
                               events of September 11, 2001, the company examined risks for the facility
                               and established an in-house task force to develop scenarios of potential
                               terrorist attacks. To test the company’s security and employees’
                               preparedness, the company’s chief executive officer had a helicopter land,
                               unannounced, on the roof of one of the company’s buildings. Following this
                               drill, emergency plans were developed that were integrated with the
                               national Homeland Security Advisory System. For example, whenever the
                               national threat level is raised to orange, the facility’s front gates are closed


                               14
                                As used in this report, security refers to measures to prevent unauthorized access to, loss,
                               and/or theft of sealed sources. Safety refers to measures intended to minimize the likelihood
                               of an accident with sealed sources and, should such an accident occur, to mitigate its
                               consequences.




                               Page 20                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
and locked at all times. If the threat level were ever increased to red, no
visitors would be allowed. Furthermore, the company has entered an
agreement with the local police to hire armed off-duty police to provide
additional security for the facility should the national threat level be raised
to red.

Extensive security measures were also present at a facility we visited in an
agreement state that manufactures portable moisture density gauges.15
Sealed sources, shipped to the manufacturer for installation in moisture
density gauges, are immediately placed in a shielded basement storage
room that is kept locked at all times. Only three staff members have keys to
access the room. Entrances to the manufacturing facility are kept locked at
all times, with an alarm system activated after closing time. Visitors must
be escorted during visits. Finally, the company has initiated a computerized
“cradle to grave” tracking system where all sealed sources installed in
moisture density gauges are tracked from manufacture, use, and eventual
disposal.

In the course of visits to a medical licensee, we observed poor security
practices with sealed sources. For example, during a visit to a hospital in an
agreement state, we were told that sealed sources, including strontium-90,
cesium-137, and iridium-192, were securely stored in a room equipped with
an electronic lock with limited access. Later, during a tour of the hospital,
we found the room unlocked, unattended, and the door propped open. The
hospital official explained that this practice was very unusual; he locked
the room door after inspection and continued the tour. Shortly thereafter,
we passed the room for a second time. Again, the room was unlocked,
unattended, and the door propped open. The storage room was in close
proximity to the hospital’s laundry and maintenance facility, which is
accessible to any hospital employee. In addition, an entry to the hospital
from the outside was also nearby, and this entrance was not guarded nor
equipped with radiation detection equipment to notify security if any sealed
sources were being removed or stolen.

We also saw potential vulnerabilities at industrial radiography licensees we
visited in agreement states. Industrial radiographers use high radioactivity
iridium-192 sources to produce an image on photographic film to inspect


15
 Moisture density gauges are commonly used to measure density of asphalt and concrete
surfaces and soil moisture content during road construction. See appendix II for a complete
descriptions of radioactive devices.




Page 21                                                       GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                            metal parts and welds for defects. These devices are very portable because
                            they are often used at remote locations. The devices are also subject to
                            limited security at the locations we visited—primarily a series of padlocks
                            on storage cases for the device. Personnel are not required to have
                            background checks and training was historically only on-the-job. Most
                            agreement states now require classroom training and testing to enhance
                            radiographers’ knowledge and skills. One industrial radiographer we
                            visited added extra security measures consisting of a motion detector
                            alarm system—monitored by the local police—and an extra lock to the gate
                            of the storage room at its facility. However, this additional security would
                            not prevent the theft of the sealed source when the device is being used in
                            the field or at a customer’s facility. This industrial radiographer had taken
                            additional steps to train his workers to be aware of security threats and
                            required—even before it was required by NRC and agreement state
                            regulations—for two people to be present whenever the sealed source was
                            being used.



Current Licensing Process   To qualify for a specific license to use sealed sources, an applicant must
Leaves Sealed Sources       demonstrate that their use of sealed sources will meet safety requirements
                            set forth in NRC regulations or in comparable agreement state regulations
Vulnerable
                            (if the license applicant is located in an agreement state). NRC requires
                            license applications to include information on, among other things, types of
                            sealed sources that will be used, details of the applicant’s radiation
                            protection program for workers dealing with sealed sources, and
                            qualifications of users of sealed sources. NRC reviews this information for
                            adherence to procedures and criteria documented in NRC licensing
                            guidance.16 If the application meets approval criteria, a license is issued.

                            NRC licensing procedures do not require inspection of licensee facilities
                            before the issuance of a license. Instead, NRC performs initial inspections
                            no later than 12 months after issuance of a license.17 However, as pointed
                            out by an agreement state official, a licensee can purchase sealed sources
                            as soon as a license has been acquired by mail. As a result, licensees may
                            purchase sealed sources legally without first verifying that they will use the

                            16
                              NRC publishes guidance for specific license applicants that outlines procedures for
                            licensing the use of sealed sources. See U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG-
                            1556—Consolidated Guidance about Materials Licenses, (Rockville, Maryland: Nov. 2001).
                            17
                               Chapter 2800 of NRC’s Inspection Manual contains guidance for inspections of specific
                            licensees with sealed sources.




                            Page 22                                                       GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                            material as intended. Several agreement states have developed methods to
                            verify the legitimacy of potential licensees. For example, one program we
                            visited conducts prelicensing inspections. Another state program hand-
                            delivers licenses at the end of the application process. An agreement state
                            official explained that pre-licensing inspections and hand delivery enabled
                            regulators to establish authenticity of the prospective licensee and whether
                            information provided in the application is indeed valid.



NRC and Agreement States    NRC conducts periodic evaluations of NRC regional materials programs
Generally Ensure Safe Use   and agreement state radiation control programs to ensure that public
                            health and safety is adequately protected. Accidents and injuries resulting
and Handling of Sealed
                            from the use of sealed sources are relatively few. For example, analysis of
Sources                     NRC’s Nuclear Materials Events Database and responses to our survey of
                            the agreement states indicates that in fiscal year 2002, only 25 of the
                            approximately 20,000 licensees in the United States reported radiation
                            exposures in excess of regulatory limits. In addition, according to NRC,
                            there were only 32 reported accidents in fiscal year 2002 involving medical
                            use of sealed sources out of tens of thousands of medical procedures
                            conducted.

                            To evaluate the performance of its and agreement states’ programs, NRC
                            developed the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program,
                            which uses several performance indicators in assessment of program
                            effectiveness, including timeliness and quality of licensee inspection,
                            program staffing and training, licensing activity, and response to incidents
                            and allegations. Officials from NRC and agreement states participate in
                            these periodic evaluations. During these evaluations, NRC and agreement
                            state officials review program documentation and interview officials with
                            the state or regional program to assess the program’s performance. When
                            the results of each performance indicator have been determined, a final
                            report is issued.18 Agreement state or NRC regional programs can be
                            evaluated as:

                            • adequate to protect the public health and safety,

                            • adequate but needs improvement, and


                            18
                             The final determination of program adequacy is made by a management review board at
                            NRC, which consists of NRC executives and a nonvoting representative of the agreement
                            states.




                            Page 23                                                    GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
• inadequate to protect public health and safety.

Figure 3 outlines the results of the most recent reviews of agreement state
and four NRC regional programs.




Page 24                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Figure 3: Results of Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program Reviews




                                         Page 25                                   GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
NRC’s most recent reviews of the 32 agreement states and NRC regional
programs, dating back to 1998, found that all programs are adequately
protecting public health and safety. Of the last 35 program reviews, 31
programs were found adequate to protect public health and safety—the
highest evaluation. Four programs were found “adequate but needs
improvement” and were placed on “heightened oversight.”19 A program
placed on heightened oversight must follow a plan to improve performance
or it will be placed on probation for failing to correct programmatic
deficiencies. Furthermore, NRC reserves the right to suspend a state’s
agreement if the state does not comply with one or more of the
requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

The Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program is intended to
ensure that the NRC and the agreement states adequately protect the health
and safety of the public in accordance with NRC standards. For example, in
February 2003, the Rhode Island program was found “adequate but needs
improvement.” As a result of its evaluation, the Rhode Island program was
placed on heightened oversight and was instructed to follow a detailed plan
to improve performance, which includes NRC monitoring of progress
through bimonthly teleconferences. In addition, the Rhode Island program
must periodically submit a progress report to NRC. The review team found
that a deficiency in staffing and training had led to Rhode Island’s
performance problems. Therefore, as part of the plan to improve
performance, Rhode Island was instructed to address staffing and training
concerns. In November 2003, a follow-up review will be conducted to
establish whether the program has improved enough to remove it from
heightened oversight status.

The review program also encourages states and NRC regions to learn good
practices from one another. For example, an NRC official recommended
that Florida be cited for a good practice for its in-house training efforts for
the program’s staff, including the creation of a new “training coordinator”
position. As a result of participation by an Ohio official during Florida’s last
evaluation, Ohio’s program decided to hire a training coordinator.
Furthermore, because review results are available to the public and a good
practices report is periodically distributed to all agreement states and NRC
regions, all programs have access to the good practices of other programs.


19
 States under “heightened oversight” as of May 31, 2003, are Rhode Island, Nevada, and
New Hampshire. Tennessee was removed from “heightened oversight” based on an October
2001 follow-up review.




Page 26                                                    GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                              The report not only shares the good practices, but also the reasons for poor
                              performance. Agreement state and NRC regional programs can take action
                              to improve performance by examining the strengths and weaknesses of
                              other programs.



NRC Efforts to                Efforts undertaken by NRC and agreement states to strengthen the security
                              of sealed sources for medical, industrial, and research use have only, to
Improve Security over         date, required large irradiator facilities to take specific actions. Additional
Sealed Sources Have           orders to licensees that possess high-risk sealed sources are expected to
                              follow. NRC and agreement states disagree over the appropriate role of the
Been Limited and              states in efforts to improve security. NRC intends to develop and
Disagreement Exists           implement all additional security measures on licensees with sealed
over the Appropriate          sources, including those licensed by agreement states. However, 82 percent
                              of agreement states responding to our survey feel they should be
Role of the States            responsible for inspecting and enforcing security measures for sealed
                              sources in their states under their authority to ensure public health and
                              safety.



NRC’s Security Efforts Have   Since the events of September 11, 2001, NRC efforts have focused on
Not Focused on Sealed         issuing advisories and orders for nuclear reactor and nuclear fuel licensees
                              and implementing changes within NRC to streamline its security
Sources
                              responsibilities. Specifically, NRC has issued over 30 advisories and 20
                              security orders requiring action to nuclear power plants, decommissioning
                              power reactors, fuel cycle facilities, and spent fuel facilities.20 Between
                              November and December 2001, NRC’s Office of Investigations visited 80
                              nuclear facilities, law enforcement agencies, and first responders
                              nationwide to interview officials and review records to identify potential
                              terrorist risks. NRC forwarded potential leads to the Federal Bureau of
                              Investigation. In addition, NRC has revised the “design basis threat” for
                              nuclear power plants—the largest reasonable threat against which a
                              regulated private guard force should be expected to defend under existing
                              law—and issued a corresponding order in April 2003 requiring power


                              20
                                Advisories are non-public, rapid communications from NRC to its licensees that provide
                              information obtained from the intelligence community or law enforcement agencies on
                              changes to the threat environment, and guidance for licensees to take specific actions
                              promptly to strengthen their capability against the threat. Security orders contain
                              requirements for licensees to implement interim compensatory security measures beyond
                              that currently required by NRC regulations and as conditions of licenses.




                              Page 27                                                      GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
plants to implement additional actions to protect against sabotage by
terrorists and other adversaries. NRC also made a series of internal
administrative changes, such as consolidating the agency’s security
responsibilities in establishing an Office of Nuclear Security and Incident
Response,21 which includes a Threat Assessment Team responsible for
working directly with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation on security issues. The Office of Nuclear Security
and Incident Response also works with the Department of Homeland
Security and other agencies concerned with terrorism to assess and
respond to potential threats. In an effort to more effectively communicate
and respond to threats, NRC developed a Threat Advisory and Protective
Measures System22 based on the national Homeland Security Advisory
System, and increased staffing at its 24-hour Emergency Operations Center.
NRC also conducted a review of information available to the general public
on the NRC Web site for potential security risks.

Efforts to strengthen the security of sealed sources for medical, industrial,
and research use—by both NRC and agreement states—have been limited.
Since September 11, 2001, NRC has issued a total of six advisories urging
licensees to ensure security of sources and advising them to be more aware
of the possibility of theft and sabotage.23 Licensees were also advised to
double-check shipping documents and inform local police authorities of
their possession of sealed sources. On June 5, 2003, NRC issued its first
security order for large irradiator facilities—70 facilities nationwide that
expose products, such as medical supplies, to radiation for sterilization—
that requires licensees to take action to strengthen security. The decision to
select irradiators first has been questioned by agreement state officials and
licensees, as they feel other uses of sealed sources pose a higher risk. For
example, 93 percent of agreement states responding to our survey
identified industrial radiographers as of greater concern. Reasons for this
may include that the sealed sources in these devices are portable, have high


21
 The Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response was established in April 2002 and
consists of two divisions – the Division of Nuclear Security and the Division of Incident
Response Operations. It is responsible for the agency’s security, safeguards, and incident
response efforts and to serve as a point of contact and counterpart to the Department of
Homeland Security and other federal agencies. In this role, the Office of Nuclear Security
and Incident Response participates in a number of interagency working groups and
committees that address issues relating to terrorism, information sharing, and planning.
22
     NRC established this system in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3.
23
     There were a total of seven advisories, one of which was a correction to a prior advisory.




Page 28                                                            GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
radioactivity, and are widely available (over 570 licensees in the United
States). Although irradiator facilities contain larger amounts of radioactive
material than industrial radiographers, they are specially designed to
include thick concrete and steel walls, security interlocks, and other
protective equipment to protect against radiation exposure. In addition, the
irradiator facilities we visited had taken the initiative to implement
supplementary security measures, such as installing motion detectors,
more extensive security alarms and monitoring, and employee
identification badges. Other uses identified by agreement states officials in
our survey as requiring stricter regulation include portable gauges and well-
logging devices—over 4,600 and over 200 licensees nationwide,
respectively.

Transportation was also identified as needing additional security. Although
most agreement states surveyed indicated that the Department of
Transportation’s (DOT) regulations are adequate to ensure safe
transportation of sealed sources, 81 percent of them identified weaknesses
in current regulations and 77 percent indicated that communications and
coordination needs to be improved between their state program and DOT.
Some DOT officials we spoke with disagreed that sealed sources were
particularly vulnerable during transportation. However, one DOT official
noted that large quantities of iridium-192 are regularly shipped to the
United States from Europe and South America using regular commercial
freight services. Such sources are shipped in stainless steel transport kegs
that require no special tools or equipment to open. Once loaded with up to
10,000 curies of iridium-192, the transport keg weighs only 150 to 200
pounds. While this official believed that, overall, security is sufficient
during transport, he told us that at certain phases such shipments could be
vulnerable to terrorist diversion.

NRC and the agreement states have formed a materials security working
group to develop and issue new security orders by the end of the year for
approximately 2,100 licensees—located throughout the United States—
that have been determined to be of the greatest risk based upon NRC’s and
DOE’s work to categorize sealed sources. When these orders are issued,
affected licensees will have a certain specified time period to comply with
the order and implement required security measures. At the end of this
period, licensees will be subject to inspections to ensure compliance and
face enforcement actions if actions have not been taken.

Agreement states’ efforts to strengthen the security of sealed sources have
focused primarily on facilitating NRC actions, such as forwarding NRC



Page 29                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                            advisories, increasing attention on security when conducting inspections
                            and license reviews, and coordinating with local law enforcement and first
                            responders to develop emergency response procedures. Eighty-six percent
                            of agreement state officials responding to our survey indicated that they
                            are adequately addressing post-September 11, 2001, heightened security
                            concerns involving malicious use of radioactive material.



NRC and the Agreement       The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 authorizes NRC to issue rules, regulations,
States Disagree over        or orders to promote the common defense and security, while granting
                            agreement states the authority to ensure public health and safety. 24
Development and
                            Following the events of September 11, 2001, NRC determined that security-
Enforcement of Additional   related efforts for all medical, industrial, and research licensees—including
Security Requirements       those licensed by agreement states—should be the responsibility of NRC
                            under its common defense and security authority. However, 82 percent of
                            agreement states responding to our survey noted that they want to have
                            responsibility for inspection and enforcement of security measures for
                            sealed sources under their authority to ensure public health and safety.
                            Agreement states already enforce NRC’s existing security regulations under
                            this authority. In addition, 74 percent of agreement states responding to our
                            survey indicated they could effectively respond to a radiological incident
                            with their current resources.

                            Individual commissioners at NRC have expressed concern with budget
                            shortfalls many states are currently experiencing. These commissioners
                            said that states experiencing budgetary difficulties may not be able to
                            assume additional responsibilities and that it may impact their program’s
                            performance. When asked whether their state had sufficient resources to
                            support new efforts, 60 percent of agreement states responding to our
                            survey indicated they would need additional resources.25 However, officials
                            from organizations representing agreement states and non-agreement
                            states have met with NRC and advised NRC that, although many states are


                            24
                             NRC’s regulations require licensees to secure licensed materials that are stored in
                            controlled or unrestricted areas from unauthorized removal or access and to control and
                            maintain constant surveillance of licensed material that is not in storage and is in a
                            controlled or unrestricted area. 10 C.F.R. §§ 20.1801, 20.1802.
                            25
                             Approximately 20 percent of agreement state officials responding to our survey indicated
                            that they are having difficulty retaining sufficient and/or qualified personnel to effectively
                            regulate sealed sources. Nevertheless, NRC has determined that all agreement state
                            programs are adequately protecting public health and safety.




                            Page 30                                                          GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
facing budget cuts, funding of the radioactive materials programs in these
states have largely been stable and the programs have been able and will
likely be able to adequately fulfill their responsibilities.

According to our discussions with NRC officials, NRC is also facing budget
and staffing constraints, largely as a result of its dependence upon fees
from the licensees it regulates—only 20 percent of the total sealed sources
licensees nationwide—for funding of its sealed source licensing and
inspection activities. As more states become agreement states, NRC has
fewer licensees to support its licensing and inspection programs.26 To
address the potential effect this reduction in funding may have on its
licensing and inspection programs, NRC and the agreement states have
entered into a partnership—called the National Materials Program—to
better share the responsibility for protecting public health and safety. Since
the agreement states regulate about 80 percent of the nation’s sealed
source licensees, the National Materials Program allows them to
participate more actively in the development of regulations and guidance,
particularly in areas where they possess expertise. For example, Texas, an
agreement state, regulates more well logging specific licensees than exist
in all NRC-regulated states. Thus, according to NRC officials, Texas could
take the lead in developing any new public health and safety regulations for
well loggers. Both NRC and the agreement states are currently conducting
pilot projects to determine how the National Materials Program can and
will work. In addition, states remain solely responsible for regulating
certain radioactive materials, such as naturally occurring radioactive
material like radium and material produced in particle accelerators,
increasing the importance of federal and state cooperation in developing
and implementing additional safety and/or security measures. NRC and the
agreement states are continuing to work cooperatively to develop
information on how responsibilities can be shared under the National
Materials Program.

NRC officials said that NRC lacks sufficient staff to conduct inspections of
all licensees expected to receive security orders—large irradiator facilities
and approximately 2,100 licensees that NRC has identified as presenting
the greatest risk. To mitigate this staffing shortage, NRC intends to enter


26
  NRC is required by the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2001 (P.L. 106-
377) to recover 94 percent of its budget through fee recovery. As the number of NRC
licensees decreases with an increasing number of agreement states, fees paid by NRC’s
licensees have increased in order to support NRC’s regulatory program.




Page 31                                                      GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
              into contracts with agreement states or independent contractors to assist
              in carrying out these inspections. According to agreement state officials we
              spoke with, however, agreement states may be reluctant to participate in
              these efforts if they have had no role in developing the additional security
              requirements or are not provided additional funding. NRC would remain
              responsible for taking appropriate enforcement action for any security
              violation found during these inspections. According to NRC, although final
              details regarding funding have yet to be determined, NRC anticipates
              increasing its licensees’ fees and using funds NRC has received from
              emergency supplemental appropriations to cover costs associated with
              additional security.



Conclusions   The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have changed the focus of
              radioactive sealed sources regulation. Where NRC and the agreement
              states previously concentrated on ensuring the safe and effective use of
              sealed sources, they must now increasingly consider how to prevent
              terrorists from obtaining and using the material. Efforts to improve
              controls over sealed sources face significant challenges, especially how to
              balance the need to secure these materials while not discouraging their
              beneficial use in academic, medical, and industrial applications. The first
              step to improve security is to conduct a threat assessment that would
              identify sealed sources most likely to be used in a terrorist attack and the
              consequences of such an attack. Defining the types of sealed sources that
              are of the greatest concern will allow federal and state efforts to be
              appropriately prioritized. NRC’s and DOE’s current efforts to categorize
              sealed sources by the greatest amount of risk and their efforts to establish a
              national-level tracking system for the highest risk sealed sources are
              commendable. However, these efforts could be strengthened by involving
              the agreement states, which regulate 80 percent of the nation’s radioactive
              materials licensees, in determining risk. In addition, these efforts could be
              further strengthened by determining the economic consequences of a dirty
              bomb and how to effectively mitigate any resulting psychological
              consequences. In addition, NRC’s current regulations leave sealed sources
              at risk of malicious use. Modifying its regulations to eliminate general
              licensing of devices containing sealed sources could improve
              accountability, potentially reducing the number of sources that are lost,
              stolen, or abandoned. Furthermore, modifying NRC’s licensing and/or
              inspection process to verify—before a licensee purchases radioactive
              material—that it will be used as intended may increase the security of
              sealed sources.




              Page 32                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                      The President’s National Strategy for Homeland Security recognizes the
                      critical importance of integrating federal, state, local, and private sector
                      efforts to prepare and respond to terrorist attacks, including those using
                      sealed sources. The initial responsibility, however, falls upon state and
                      local governments and their organizations—such as police, fire
                      departments, emergency medical personnel, and public health agencies—
                      which will almost invariably be the first responders to any terrorist event
                      involving sealed sources. Because of state and local governments’ role in
                      responding to incidents—in addition to the fact that the federal
                      government lacks authority over naturally occurring and accelerator
                      produced radioactive material—it is critical to involve state and local
                      governments in the development and implementation of additional security
                      over sealed sources. State radiological protection agencies can provide
                      valuable expertise on the licensees that they have been regulating, in many
                      cases, for decades. Developing criteria and performance measures to gauge
                      NRC’s and agreement states’ effectiveness at implementing additional
                      security as part of NRC’s performance evaluation process would help
                      ensure the consistent application of additional security measures across
                      the United States. NRC and the agreement states have a proven record of
                      cooperation in regulating the safe use of radioactive materials, including
                      sealed sources. As increasing demands are placed on budgets at all levels
                      of government, effectively leveraging the knowledge and resources of
                      federal, state, and local agencies will be crucial to ensuring that sealed
                      sources continue to be used safely and remain secure against terrorist use.



Recommendations for   To determine the sealed sources of greatest concern, we recommend that
                      the Chairman of NRC collaborate with the agreement states to identify the
Executive Action      types, amount, and availability of the highest risk sealed sources and the
                      associated health and economic consequences of their malicious use. In
                      addition, we recommend that NRC and the agreement states determine
                      how to effectively mitigate the psychological effects of their use in a
                      terrorist attack.

                      In addition, accountability over generally licensed devices needs to be
                      improved and gaps in the current licensing process need to be addressed.
                      Because new efforts will involve additional licensing and inspection of
                      potentially thousands of licensees and devices, we recommend that the
                      Chairman of NRC:

                      • determine, in consultation with the agreement states, the costs and
                        benefits of requiring owners of devices that are now generally licensed



                      Page 33                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                         to apply for specific licenses and whether the costs are commensurate
                         with the risks these devices present and

                      • modify NRC’s process of issuing specific licenses to ensure that sealed
                        sources cannot be purchased before NRC’s verification—through
                        inspection or other means—that the materials will be used as intended.

                      Finally, to ensure that the federal and state governments’ efforts to provide
                      additional security to sealed sources are adequately integrated and
                      evaluated for their effectiveness, we recommend that the Chairman of
                      NRC:

                      • determine how officials in agreement and non-agreement states can
                        participate in the development and implementation of additional
                        security measures and

                      • include criteria and performance measures of the NRC’s and the
                        agreement states’ implementation of additional security measures in
                        NRC’s periodic evaluations of its and agreement states’ effectiveness.



Agency Comments and   We provided NRC, CRCPD, and OAS with draft copies of this report for
                      their review and comment. NRC’s written comments are presented as
Our Evaluation        appendix VI. NRC, CRCPD, and OAS also provided technical comments,
                      which we incorporated into the report as appropriate.

                      NRC stated that the draft report does not fully present either the current
                      status of NRC’s efforts to improve the security of high-risk radioactive
                      sources or the large effort that it has devoted to this issue since September
                      11, 2001. According to NRC, the draft report does not fully reflect its
                      existing statutory framework and does not recognize that several of our
                      recommendations would require statutory changes at both federal and
                      state levels. Furthermore, NRC commented that our draft report should
                      have focused on high-risk radioactive sources that are of greatest concern
                      for malevolent use by a terrorist rather than radioactive sources of all
                      types.

                      Regarding NRC’s comments that our draft report does not fully discuss its
                      activities to increase the security of the highest-risk sealed sources, we
                      note that our draft report detailed all advisories issued by NRC to sealed
                      source licensees urging them to ensure security of sealed sources following
                      September 11, 2001, as well as NRC’s efforts with DOE to define the



                      Page 34                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
radioactive isotopes of concern. We have added information on the
organization and goals of NRC’s new materials security working group.
Furthermore, our report discusses that NRC’s security order to large
irradiators was issued on June 5, 2003. This order was issued four days
after our meeting with NRC officials to discuss our preliminary findings,
conclusions, and recommendations. At the meeting, NRC officials told us
that it could take until the end of 2003 for the order to be issued. It is
important to note that this is the first and only security order related to
sealed sources issued since the September 11, 2001, attacks and that it
applies only to 70 large irradiator facilities in the United States. As
discussed in our draft report, 93 percent of agreement states responding to
our survey identified industrial radiographers, of which there are over 500
nationwide, as of greater concern than large irradiator facilities.

Regarding NRC’s comment that our draft report does not recognize that
several of our recommendations would require statutory changes at both
federal and state levels, we have clarified our report to recommend that
NRC determine how officials in agreement and non-agreement states can
participate in the development and implementation of additional security
measures. We agree with NRC that its statutory framework reserves to
NRC the authority to promote the common defense and security and our
report discusses the distinction between federal and state authority.
However, we continue to believe, as do state officials we spoke with, that
involving the agreement and non-agreement states in the development and
implementation of additional security measures would be beneficial. As
our draft report stated, state and local governments will almost invariably
be the first responders to any terrorist event involving sealed sources.
States can also provide valuable expertise on licensees that they have been
regulating for decades and which NRC has had no prior contact with. In its
comments, NRC states that the possibility of state budget shortfalls played
absolutely no role in its decision to develop and implement additional
security measures under its common defense and security authority.
However, numerous NRC officials told us during our review that budget
difficulties could impact the performance of state radiation protection
programs and NRC’s former Chairman discussed the issue at a January
2003 meeting. NRC acknowledges in its comments that cooperation with
agreement states is vital to the success of its efforts. We are encouraged
that NRC stated in its comments that it will examine changes to its
statutory framework in its new materials security working group and
intends to work with the states to the maximum extent possible under
existing statutes.




Page 35                                            GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Regarding NRC’s comment that the draft report should have focused only
on high-risk sources rather than radioactive sources of all types, we note
that the objectives of our review included determining the known number
of all sealed sources in the United States and the number of sources lost,
stolen, or abandoned. Our draft report noted that defining the types of
sealed sources that are of the greatest concern would allow federal and
state efforts to be appropriately prioritized. As we did when responding to
a similar comment NRC made in our May 2003 report, we agree that the
highest-risk sources present the greatest concern as desirable material for
a dirty bomb. 27 However, other sealed radioactive sources could also be
used as a terrorist weapon. No one can say with certainty what the
psychological, social, or economic costs of a dirty bomb—regardless of the
radioactive material used to construct it—would be. We are concerned that
NRC’s and DOE’s identification of the highest-risk sealed sources focuses
solely on the health risks of their use and does not address the
psychological, social, or economic costs of a dirty bomb. It is also
important to note that NRC is still working with the International Atomic
Energy Agency to reconcile differences between their definitions of high-
risk sealed sources. Furthermore, many of the radioactive isotopes
identified by NRC and DOE as high-risk are used only at DOE facilities or
by very few NRC licensees in the United States. NRC and DOE did not
consider radioactive materials licensees in the agreement states, which
constitute 80 percent of the nation’s licensees. Without addressing the total
consequences of a dirty bomb and considering the availability of sealed
sources nationwide, we believe NRC’s and DOE’s determination of risk is
incomplete.

In general, both CRCPD and OAS agreed with the recommendations in the
report. However, both organizations noted that our use of the term “sealed
source” to refer to all radioactive materials used in medical, industrial, and
research purposes may exclude many radioactive isotopes that could be
used in a dirty bomb that are loose and not in sealed form, especially those
used in medical and research facilities. We used the term “sealed source”
for simplicity to distinguish medical, industrial, and research radioactive
isotopes from material used in nuclear weapons and as fuel in nuclear
reactors. We did not intend to exclude unsealed radioactive material from



27
 See U.S. General Accounting Office, Nuclear Nonproliferation: U.S. and International
Assistance Efforts to Control Sealed Radioactive Sources Need Strengthening, GAO-03-638
(Washington, D.C.: May 16, 2003).




Page 36                                                    GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
our discussion of radioactive materials of concern and have clarified our
use of the term.

CRCPD stated that the report does not address four critical areas of
potential risk. First, CRCPD believes that a major area of risk is at bankrupt
facilities where sealed sources can be left unattended and/or unsecured for
long periods of time, leaving the sources easy targets for theft. We
acknowledge this risk and have revised our discussion of lost, stolen, and
abandoned sources appropriately. Second, CRCPD noted that radioactive
materials licensed for “storage only” tend to be neglected by the licensee
and the regulatory agency. While we agree that this is a potential weakness
in sealed source security, individual state practices on “storage only”
licenses differ. We did not specifically examine these practices during our
review. Third, CRCPD stated that the report does not adequately address
the radioactive material under the control of DOE and naturally occurring
and accelerator produced radioactive material. While DOE does control a
large amount of radioactive material, discussion of the security provided to
it was outside of the scope of our review. We believe our report adequately
discusses the challenges of regulating naturally occurring and accelerator
produced materials. Finally, CRCPD states that the report does not
consider transportation hubs through which very large quantities of
radioactive material pass each day. While we do not specifically discuss
transportation hubs, our draft report noted that weaknesses have been
identified in the transportation of sealed sources and, at certain phases of
transport, these shipments could be vulnerable to terrorist diversion.

OAS agreed with our recommendation that NRC should include criteria and
performance measures of the agreement states’ implementation of
additional security measures in NRC’s periodic evaluations of agreement
states’ effectiveness. OAS stated that such evaluation is not possible given
the current intention of NRC to issue and implement security orders under
its common defense and security authority. However, we believe that the
recommendation in our draft report that NRC determine how states can
participate in the development and implementation of additional security
measures addresses this concern.

OAS also noted that our draft report stated that licensees are tracked
instead of individual sealed sources and that the draft report lends support
to the formation of a national tracking system for sealed sources. OAS
commented that our discussion does not accurately describe the current
system. Licensees are required to maintain records for the acquisition and
disposition of each source it receives and maintain an accurate inventory of



Page 37                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
sources in their possession. While we agree with this comment and have
revised our discussion of license tracking, our draft report was accurate in
that there is no single source of information in the United States to verify
authorized users, locations, quantities, and movements of sealed sources.
OAS goes on to state that there are serious concerns with the practicality
and accuracy of a national tracking system and that the development of
such a system should be further evaluated with input from the states and
private industry. We agree with OAS’s comments, but believe that our
recommendation to collaborate with the agreement states in order to
determine the types, amount, and availability of the highest risk sealed
sources and the health, psychological, and economic consequences of their
use in a terrorist attack addresses OAS’s concerns.

Finally, OAS commented that the states have long requested that the
federal government seriously consider placing the use and regulation of all
radioactive materials in a single federal agency. According to OAS, the
current approach results in a disjointed regulatory structure and different
standards for the same public health issue. While we agree that consistency
and avoiding duplication is important, addressing the overall regulation of
radioactive material in the United States was outside the scope of our
review on security of sealed sources.

We conducted our work from August 2002 through June 2003 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards. Appendix I
presents our scope and methodology in detail.


As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce the contents of
this report earlier, we plan no further distribution of it until 30 days from
the date of this letter. We will then send copies to the Chairman and
Commissioners of NRC; the Secretary of Homeland Security; the Secretary
of Energy; the Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration; the
Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Chairman of the
Organization of Agreement States; the Chairman and Executive Director of
the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors; the directors of
the radiation control programs in the 32 agreement states; interested
congressional committees; and other interested parties. We will also make
copies available to others who request them. In addition, the report will be
available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.




Page 38                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
If you or your staff have any questions about this report, I can be reached at
(202) 512-3841. Key contributors to this report are listed in appendix VII.

Sincerely yours,




Robert A. Robinson
Managing Director, Natural
 Resources and Environment




Page 39                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix I

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                                          AA
                                                                                             ppp
                                                                                               ep
                                                                                                ned
                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                  x
                                                                                                  id
                                                                                                   e
                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                   Iis




              At the request of the Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on
              Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security, Committee
              on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, we examined the following
              questions:

              1. What is the known number of sealed sources in the United States?

              2. How many of these sealed sources have been lost, stolen, or
                 abandoned?

              3. How effective are federal and state controls over sealed sources?

              4. What efforts have been initiated or considered since September 11,
                 2001, to better safeguard radiological sources?

              To answer these questions, we distributed surveys to 32 agreement states,
              18 non-agreement states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and to
              NRC’s 4 regional offices. We focused the survey on information about each
              state’s radiation control program, specific and general licensing activities,
              enforcement actions, effectiveness of controls over sealed sources,
              program evaluation processes, transportation of sealed sources, and the
              impact of September 11, 2001, on regulatory programs. We acquired a list of
              the appropriate agreement and non-agreement state officials from NRC’s
              Office of State and Tribal Programs Web site and from the Conference of
              Radiation Control Program Directors. Because this was not a sample
              survey, but rather a census of all states, there are no sampling errors.
              However, the practical difficulties of conducting any survey may introduce
              errors, commonly referred to as nonsampling errors. For example,
              measurement errors are introduced if difficulties exist in how a particular
              question is interpreted or in the sources of information available to
              respondents in answering a question. In addition, coding errors may occur
              if mistakes are entered into a database. We took extensive steps in the
              development of the questionnaires, the collection of data, and the editing
              and analysis of data to minimize total survey error. To reduce measurement
              error, we conducted two rounds of pretesting to make sure questions and
              response categories were interpreted in a consistent manner with both
              agreement and non-agreement states. We also provided draft copies of the
              questionnaires to NRC, the Organization of Agreement States (OAS), and
              the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) for their
              review and comment. Based on both pretesting and comments received
              from NRC, OAS, and CRCPD, we made relevant changes to the questions
              based upon these pretests. Copies of the agreement and non-agreement



              Page 40                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




state questionnaires, along with the results to each question, are in
appendixes IV and V, respectively.

In addition, we edited all completed surveys for consistency and, if
necessary, contacted respondents to clarify responses. All questionnaire
responses were double key-entered into our database (that is, the entries
were 100 percent verified), and a random sample of the questionnaires was
further verified for completeness and accuracy. In addition, all computer
syntax was peer reviewed and verified by separate programmers to ensure
that the syntax was written and executed correctly.

We made extensive efforts to encourage respondents to complete and
return the questionnaires, including sending up to four reminder electronic
mail messages to non-respondents, calling state radiation control program
directors directly, and collaborating with OAS to promote completion of
this survey. Our efforts yielded responses from 31 of 32 (96.8 percent
response rate) agreement states and 11 of 18 (61.1 percent response rate)
non-agreement states. We also received responses from Puerto Rico and
the four NRC regional offices. In total, we achieved an overall response rate
of 80.4 percent, receiving 45 of the 56 surveys disseminated. We did not
receive a response from one agreement state: Arizona. The non-agreement
states of Alaska, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South
Dakota, and Wyoming did not respond to our survey, nor did we receive a
response from the District of Columbia. Although we did not receive
surveys from these states, we obtained data on incidents involving sealed
sources and numbers and types of licensees from NRC. Three states (New
York, South Carolina, and Texas) have multiple agencies with jurisdiction
over sealed sources. We sent and received surveys from the appropriate
agencies in each of these states.

To determine the number and types of sealed source licenses in the United
States and the number of sealed sources lost, stolen, or abandoned, we
relied upon information provided by state radiation control programs in
their responses to our survey. In addition, we obtained data from NRC’s
license tracking system database on licensees NRC regulates—both in the
non-agreement states and on federal facilities in the agreement states. To
determine the number of sealed sources lost, stolen, or abandoned over the
past 5 years, we obtained data on incidents from NRC’s Nuclear Materials
Events Database. We chose to examine the past 5 years because
information was readily available through this database. Because each
state uses different systems to track its licensing activities, we did not
attempt to independently assess the reliability of data provided by the



Page 41                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




states in their responses to our survey. However, we did ask states in what
ways and how frequently information in their databases is validated. To
assess the reliability of NRC’s databases, we interviewed officials at NRC in
charge of maintaining its license tracking system database and the Nuclear
Materials Events Database to determine if data in these systems are
reasonably complete and accurate. As a result of these interviews, we did
not find any reasons to question the reliability of these data. In addition, we
also performed limited testing on NRC’s license tracking system database
to find missing data or data outside expected ranges. We did not find
significant errors or incompleteness as a result of these tests and
concluded that the use of the data would not lead to incorrect or
unintentional findings. These are the only data on NRC licensing activities
in the United States and program managers at NRC regularly use the data.

In addition to data on state programs obtained through our survey, we
obtained information through interviews with officials from state radiation
control programs. We visited the following states during our review:
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah. We also interviewed
officials from the Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, and Ohio state
radiation control programs.

We selected states to visit based upon the numbers of licensees regulated
by the state and the different uses of sealed sources. We selected states
with a low number of licensees (Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Utah), a
medium number of licensees (Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North
Carolina, and Pennsylvania), and a high number of licensees (Florida and
Illinois). In addition, we considered the types of licensees in each state. For
example, we visited South Carolina and Utah because they have two of the
nation’s three low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities—the Chem-
Nuclear Systems, L.L.C. facility in Barnwell, South Carolina and the
Envirocare of Utah, Inc., facility in Clive, Utah. When visiting states, we met
with officials from selected licensees that represented the major uses of
sealed sources. We also visited manufacturers because they may possess
larger quantities of radioactive material for installation in devices for sale.
In summary, we visited three sites being decommissioned and
decontaminated, two low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities, two
moisture/density gauge manufacturers, two industrial radiographers, two
medical licensees (hospitals), two large irradiator facilities, a well-logging
licensee, a nuclear pharmacy, a research and development licensee, and an
academic licensee to obtain their views on the effectiveness of NRC and
state regulations, including the challenges associated with sealed source



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Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




security. Additionally, we examined physical security measures during
tours of these facilities.

We also visited Rhode Island, Florida, and the NRC Region III office in
Lisle, Illinois, because they were undergoing NRC program performance
evaluation reviews under the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation
Program. Visiting a program while it was being evaluated gave us the
opportunity to witness review procedures for evaluating performance,
consistency of application of NRC’s review criteria, transparency of the
review process, and the level of cooperation and involvement between
NRC officials and representatives from agreement states. To follow up our
review of the program evaluation process, we attended a 2-day NRC
training class on the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program
and observed two program evaluation Management Review Board
meetings at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.

We attended two conferences related to sealed source regulation—the May
2002 CRCPD annual meeting held in Madison, Wisconsin, and the annual
OAS Conference held in October 2002, in Denver, Colorado. We also
obtained a position paper from the Health Physics Society on the regulation
of sealed sources. Furthermore, we met with the chairman of the Southeast
Compact for low-level radioactive waste and the Advisory Committee on
the Medical Uses of Isotopes to elicit views on the regulation and security
of sealed sources.

At the federal level, we interviewed numerous NRC officials representing
several different offices and programs. During these interviews, NRC
provided us with information and documents about the regulation of sealed
sources and the challenges it faces in the post September 11, 2001, security
environment. We met with NRC’s Office of Enforcement, Office of
Investigation, Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards, Office of
Nuclear Security and Incident Response, and Office of State and Tribal
Programs. Additionally, we attended an August 2002 meeting between
representatives of OAS and CRCPD and the Commissioners of NRC.
Finally, to gain the perspective of federal regulators at the regional level,
we visited three of the four NRC regional offices, including NRC Region I
located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Region II located in Atlanta,
Georgia; and Region III located in Lisle, Illinois.

In addition to officials at NRC, we interviewed several other federal
government agency officials. To learn about sealed source transportation
regulations and issues, we interviewed officials from the Department of



Page 43                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




Transportation, including the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety. To
establish the role of the Environmental Protection Agency in regulating
sealed sources, we met with officials from the Office of Radiation and
Indoor Air. We also met with officials from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and observed a FEMA evaluated exercise in
March 2003 in Springfield and Morris, Illinois, that simulated a radiological
release at a nuclear power plant. We also interviewed Department of
Justice and Department of Energy officials.

We performed our review from August 2002 through June 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 44                                              GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix II

Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
Sealed Sources                                                                               Appendx
                                                                                                   Ii




Irradiators    Irradiators are devices or facilities that expose products to radiation for
               sterilization, such as spices, milk containers, and hospital supplies.
               Irradiator facilities are relatively few in number and contain very high
               activity sources, which vary in physical size. Non-self shielded irradiators
               do not provide shielding from the radiation beam; therefore, the facilities
               that contain the irradiation must be specially designed, often including
               thickly shielded walls, interlocks, and other protective equipment. Self-
               shielded irradiators do not emit external radiation beams and are usually
               small cabinet type devices. These irradiators are commonly used in
               research applications or for blood irradiation. According to our survey and
               NRC specific license data, there are a total of approximately 350 irradiator
               specific licensees in the United States, about 70 of which are large
               irradiators.




               Page 45                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
              Appendix II
              Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
              Sealed Sources




              Figure 4: Product Conveyor System in a Panoramic Irradiator




              Note: Cobalt-60 sealed sources are placed in racks and stored while not in use in a deep water-filled
              pool beneath the product conveyor system.




Teletherapy   Teletherapy is commonly referred to as external beam radiation. Fixed
              multibeam teletheraphy units focus gamma radiation from an array of over



              Page 46                                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                         Appendix II
                         Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                         Sealed Sources




                         200 cobalt-60 sources on cancer lesions. The facilities within which the
                         units are located are specifically designed to include thickly shielded walls
                         and have other protective equipment, due to the high activity sources.
                         According to our survey and NRC specific license data, there are
                         approximately 60 teletherapy licensees and about 60 gamma knife
                         licensees in the United States.



                         Figure 5: Stereotactic Radiosurgery Device (Gamma Knife)




Industrial Radiography   Industrial radiography is the use of radiation to produce an image of
                         internal features on photographic film to inspect metal parts and welds for
                         defects. Industrial radiography sources and devices are generally small in
                         terms of physical size, although the devices are usually heavy due to the
                         internal shielding. The sources are attached to specially designed cables for
                         their operation. The use of radiography sources and devices is very
                         common—a total of over 570 licensees nationwide—and their portability



                         Page 47                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                 Appendix II
                 Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                 Sealed Sources




                 may make them susceptible to theft or loss. Further, the small size of the
                 source allows for unauthorized removal by an individual, and such a source
                 may be placed into a pocket of a garment. Industrial radiography cameras
                 typically contain a high radioactivity iridium-192 source that is capable of
                 inflicting extensive radiation burns if handled improperly.



                 Figure 6: Industrial Radiography Camera and Storage Case




Brachytheraphy   Brachytherapy is an advanced cancer treatment in which radioactive seeds
                 or sources are placed in or near the tumor itself, giving a high radiation
                 dose to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure in the surrounding
                 healthy tissues. Brachytheraphy applications are of three slightly different
                 varieties, generally referred to as low dose rate, medium dose rate, and
                 high dose rate. These applications use sealed sources that are small
                 physically (less than 1 centimeter in diameter and only a few centimeters
                 long), and, thus, are susceptible to being lost or misplaced. High and
                 medium dose rate sources, and some low dose rate sources, may be in the



                 Page 48                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix II
Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
Sealed Sources




form of a long wire attached to a device (a remote after loading device).
The after loading device may be heavy, due to the shielding for the sources
when not in use, and the device may be on wheels for transport within a
facility. The remote after loading device may also contain electrical and
electronic components for its operation. Brachytherapy sources and
devices are located in hospitals, clinics, and similar medical institutions,
and such facilities may have a large number of sources.




Page 49                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                      Appendix II
                      Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                      Sealed Sources




                      Figure 7: High Dose Rate Remote After Loader Used for Brachytherapy




Well Logging Device   Well logging is a process that uses sealed sources and/or unsealed
                      radioactive materials to determine whether a well, drilled deep into the
                      ground, contains minerals, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. The sources



                      Page 50                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix II
Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
Sealed Sources




are usually contained in long (1 to 2 meters, typically) and thin (less than 10
centimeters in diameter) devices that also contain detectors and various
electronic components. The actual size of the sources inside the devices is
generally small, but the device is heavy, due to the ruggedness needed for
the environments in which they are to be used. Our analysis of NRC’s
license tracking system and responses to our survey of agreement states
indicates that there are about 210 well logging licensees in the United
States.




Page 51                                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                         Appendix II
                         Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                         Sealed Sources




                         Figure 8: Storage Container for Well Logging Sealed Source




Fixed Industrial Gauge   Non-portable gauging devices are designed for measurement or control of
                         material density, flow, level, thickness, weight, and so forth. The gauges—
                         possessed by over 1,600 specific licensees and an unknown number of
                         general licensees—contain sealed sources that radiate through the
                         substance being measured to a readout or controlling device. Depending




                         Page 52                                                GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                 Appendix II
                 Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                 Sealed Sources




                 upon the specific application, industrial gauges may contain relatively
                 small quantities of radioactive material, or may contain sources with
                 activities approaching 30 curies. The devices generally are not large, but
                 may be located some distance from the radiation detector, which may have
                 electrical or electronic components located within the detector. A facility
                 may have a large number of these gauges and the locations of such devices
                 or sources within a facility may not be recognized, since the devices may be
                 connected to process control equipment. This lack of recognition may
                 result in a loss of control if the facility decides to modernize or terminate
                 operations.



                 Figure 9: Fixed Industrial Gauge




Portable Gauge   Portable gauging devices, such as moisture density gauges, are used at field
                 locations and contain the sources, detectors, and electronic equipment
                 necessary for the measurement. These gauges—over 4,600 licensees in the
                 United States—contain a gamma emitting sealed source, usually cesium-
                 137, and a sealed neutron source, usually americium-241 and beryllium.
                 The source is physically small in size, typically a few centimeters long by a
                 few centimeters in diameter, and may be located either completely within
                 the device or at the end of a rod/handle assembly. The portability of the
                 device makes it susceptible to loss of control or theft.




                 Page 53                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix II
Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
Sealed Sources




Figure 10: Portable Moisture/Density Gauge




Page 54                                      GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                                               Appendix II
                                               Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                                               Sealed Sources




Table 2: Type and Size of Sealed Sources Used in Medical and Industrial Practices

                                                                                                  Range of radioactivity level
Practice or Application                               Use                    Radioisotope                            (curies)
Irradiator (sterilization/food preservation)          Industrial             Cobalt-60                       5,000-15,000,000
                                                                             Cesium-137                       5,000-5,000,000
Irradiator (self-shielded)                            Research               Cesium-137                          2,500-42,000
                                                                             Cobalt-60                           1,500-50,000
Irradiator (blood)                                    Medical                Cesium-137                          1,000-12,000
                                                                             Cobalt-60                            1,500-3,000
Teletherapy                                           Medical                Cobalt-60                           1,000-15,000
                                                                             Cesium-137                             500-1,500
Teletherapy (fixed, multibeam/gamma knife)            Medical                Cobalt-60                           4,000-10,000
Industrial radiography                                Industrial             Cobalt-60                                 11-200
                                                                             Iridium-192                                5-200
                                                                             Selenium-75                                   80
                                                                             Ytterbium-169                             2.5-10
                                                                             Thulium-170                               20-200
Brachytherapy (high/medium dose rate)                 Medical                Cobalt-60                                   5-20
                                                                             Cesium-137                                   3-8
                                                                             Iridium-192                                 3-12
Brachytherapy (low dose rate)                         Medical                Cesium-137                                 .01-.7
                                                                             Radium-226                               .005-.05
                                                                             Strontium-90                              .02-.04
                                                                             Palladium-103                                 .03
                                                                             Iodine-125                                    .04
                                                                             Iridium-192                               .02-.75
                                                                             Gold-198                                      .08
                                                                             Californium-252                             .083
                                                                             Ruthenium/Rhodium-                  .00022-.0006
                                                                             106
Well logging gauge                                    Industrial             Americium-                                  .5-23
                                                                             241/Beryllium
                                                                             Cesium-137                                   1-2
                                                                             Californium-252                          .027-.11
Fixed industrial gauge (e.g. level/thickness gauge)   Industrial             Americium-241                            .012-.12
                                                                             Cesium-137                               .05-.065
Portable gauge (e.g. moisture/density gauge)          Industrial             Americium-                                 .01-.1
                                                                             241/Beryllium




                                               Page 55                                            GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                                                                  Appendix II
                                                                  Medical and Industrial Devices That Use
                                                                  Sealed Sources




(Continued From Previous Page)
                                                                                                                                           Range of radioactivity level
Practice or Application                                                      Use                               Radioisotope                                   (curies)
                                                                                                               Cesium-137                                    .008-.011
                                                                                                               Radium-226                                    .002-.004
                                                                                                               Californium-252                           .00003-.00007
Source: International Atomic Energy Agency, “Categorization of Radioactive Sources, Revision of IAEA-TECDOC-1191” Vienna, Austria, 2003.




                                                                  Page 56                                                                  GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix III

Legislation Introduced in the 108th Congress
Addressing Security of Sealed Sources                                                                                                              Appendx
                                                                                                                                                         iI




Legislation                          Major Efforts                                                  Study Requested
S.6 Comprehensive Homeland           Amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to include the            Establishes a task force to develop a
Security Act of 2003                 following major efforts: (1) based on a new classification     classification system for sensitive sealed
Sec. 3006 and Sec. 170.              system, develop a national system for recovery of sealed       sources that is based on the potential for
                                     sources that are stolen or lost; (2) develop a national        use by terrorists and the extent of the
                                     tracking system that takes into account the new                threat to public health and safety.
                                     classification system; and (3) establish procedures to
                                     improve the security of sealed sources in use, transport,
                                     and storage.
S.350 A bill to amend the Atomic     Directs a task force to (1) determine which sealed             Establishes a multiagency task force to
Energy Act of 1954 to strengthen     sources should be classified as sensitive sealed sources,      evaluate the security of sealed sources
the security of sensitive            (2) develop a national system to recover sensitive sealed      and recommends administrative and
radioactive material.                sources that are lost or stolen, (3) develop a national        legislative actions to provide the maximum
                                     tracking system for sealed sources, and (4) establish          degree of security against radiological
                                     procedures to improve the security of sensitive sealed         threats.
                                     sources.
H.R.891 A bill to establish a task   Directs a task force to (1) establish or modify a              Establishes a multiagency task force to, in
force to evaluate and make           classification system for sealed sources based on sealed       consultation with state agencies, make
recommendations with respect to      source attractiveness to terrorists, (2) establish or modify   recommendations for appropriate
the security of sealed sources of    a national tracking system, (3) establish a system to          regulatory and legislative changes to
radioactive materials, and for       impose refundable fees for proper disposal, and (4)            strengthen controls over sealed sources.
other purposes.                      improve the security of sealed sources.
S. 1043 A bill to provide for the    Changes the definition of byproduct material to include   None.
security of commercial nuclear       naturally occurring and accelerator produced radioactive
power plants and facilities          material and, within 4 years, transition regulatory
designated by the Nuclear            authority over this material from non-agreement states to
Regulatory Commission                the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Sec. 6
S. 1005 The Energy Policy            Instructs the Secretary of Energy to establish a research      Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct
Policy Act of 2003                   and development program to develop alternatives to             a survey of industrial applications of large
Title IX Subtitle D—Nuclear          sealed sources that reduce safety, environmental, or           radioactive sources. Requires the survey
Energy Sec. 946                      proliferation risks to workers using the sources or the        to include information on the management
                                     public.                                                        and disposal of sealed sources.
S. 1045 Low-Level Radioactive        Directs the Secretary of Energy to (1) identify options for None.
Waste Act of 2003                    disposal of low-level radioactive waste, (2) develop a
                                     report for Congress on a permanent disposal facility for
                                     greater-than-Class C waste, and (3) submit to Congress a
                                     plan to ensure continued recovery of greater-than-Class
                                     C waste until a permanent disposal facility is available.




                                                 Page 57                                                           GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
                                            Appendix III
                                            Legislation Introduced in the 108th Congress
                                            Addressing Security of Sealed Sources




(Continued From Previous Page)
Legislation                      Major Efforts                                             Study Requested
S. 1161 Foreign Assistance       Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to engage in activities None.
Authorization Act, fiscal year   with the International Atomic Energy Agency to (1)
2004                             propose and conclude agreements with up to 8 countries
Title III Sec. 301—308           under which the countries would provide temporary
Radiological Terrorism Threat    secure storage for orphaned, unused, and surplus sealed
Reduction Act of 2003            sources, (2) promote the discovery, inventory, and
                                 recovery of sealed sources in member nations, and (3)
                                 authorizes the Secretary of Energy to make voluntary
                                 contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency
                                 to achieve the aforementioned goals.
Source: GAO.




                                            Page 58                                                    GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix IV

Results of Survey of Agreement States                                                                                         Appendx
                                                                                                                                    iIV




                                                    United States General Accounting Office

                                                    Agreement State Survey on Security of
                                                    Radioactive Sources
              Background
                                                                       If you have any questions about the survey,
              The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the            please contact:
              investigative arm of Congress, is reviewing the
              regulation of radioactive materials in the United                  Ryan T. Coles
              States. Congress has asked the GAO to answer                       Office: 202-512-6888
              the following questions:                                           E-mail: ColesR@gao.gov

                  1. What is the known universe of                               Peter Ruedel
                     radiological sources in the United States                   Office: 202-512-8753
                     and how many have been lost, stolen, or                     E-mail: RuedelP@gao.gov
                     abandoned?
                                                                                 Heather Von Behren
                  2. How effective are federal and state                         Office: 202-512-6768
                     controls over radiological sources?                         E-mail: VonBehrenH@gao.gov

                  3. What efforts are underway since                   If you prefer to return the survey via FedEx, the
                     September 11, 2001, to improve the                return address is:
                     controls over radiological sources?
                                                                                 U.S. General Accounting Office
              As part of our review, we are conducting                           Attention: Ryan T. Coles
              surveys of state radiation control agencies,                       Natural Resources and Environment
              including agreement and non-agreement states,                      441 G Street, NW Room 2T23
              Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of                             Washington, DC 20548
              Columbia. The principal aims of this survey are
              to obtain information from each state on the             Due to increased security put in place following
              number and types of radiological sources being           the anthrax incidents of October 2001, please do
              regulated by the state and obtain states’ views on       not use the U.S. Postal Service to return surveys
              the effectiveness of the current federal and state       to GAO.
              regulatory framework.
                                                                       Although this questionnaire may require input
              Your cooperation in completing this survey is
                                                                       from various individuals, we ask that one person
              essential for an accurate and timely report to the
                                                                       assume responsibility for coordinating its
              Congress on the current state of regulatory
                                                                       completion. Please list that person’s name
              control over radioactive materials. To be
                                                                       below in case we have questions or need follow-
              included in our report, your response within 3
                                                                       up. Thank you.
              weeks of receipt is greatly appreciated.
                                                                       Name:
              Directions for Completing this Questionnaire
                                                                       Title:
              Please complete this questionnaire and return it
              via email (ColesR@gao.gov), fax (202-512-
                                                                       Telephone #:
              6880), or FedEx within 3 weeks of receipt.
              GAO will take steps to safeguard the privacy of          E-mail:
              your responses.



                                                                   1




                 Page 59                                                                            GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
  Appendix IV
  Results of Survey of Agreement States




PROGRAM INFORMATION

  1. First, we’d like to get some basic information about your state’s radiation control program.
     Please provide the following information.

     Program name:

     State department/division/office (e.g. Department of Health):

     City the main office is located in:

     State:

     Current director of program:


  2. Please list your program’s total budget for the following calendar years:

     2000 (Actual)             $51,463,128 (N=30)
     2001 (Actual)             $56,975,299 (N=31)
     2002 (Actual)             $59,712,939 (N=32)
     2003 (Projected)          $61,039,121 (N=31)


  3. What are the sources of your program’s funding? (Mark all that apply 7) (N=35)

   94.3%   Fees charged to licensees
   45.7%   Appropriations from state general fund
   60.0%   Other, please specify:


  4. How many full-time equivalent (FTE) staff does your program currently employ? (N=35)


     754




                                                                                                2




  Page 60                                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix IV
Results of Survey of Agreement States




5. Of the total number of staff reported in question #3, how many FTEs do you have in the
   following categories?

             Category of Staff                      Number
    Inspectors
    License reviewers
    Other Technical Staff
    Other Non-Technical Staff



6. How many of your technical staff (including inspectors and license reviewers) are
   professionally certified (e.g. certified health physicists, nuclear medicine technologists, etc.)?




7. How many staff were employed in your state in the following categories on January 1,
   1998? (N=34)

             Category of Staff            Number on January 1, 1998
    Inspectors
    License reviewers
    Other Technical Staff
    Other Non-Technical Staff
             TOTAL                      750


8. Over the next five years, do you estimate your total full-time equivalent positions will
   increase or decrease for technical and non-technical staff? (Mark only one response 7 for
   each type of staff) (N=34)

              Technical Staff                    Non-Technical Staff
    17.7% Increase                       17.7% Increase
    11.8% Decrease                       11.8% Decrease
    70.6% Stay about the same            70.6% Stay about the same


9. In what year did your agreement with the NRC, or its predecessor, the Atomic Energy
   Commission, first enter into force?


         1       9



                                                                                                   3




Page 61                                                                          GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix IV
Results of Survey of Agreement States




SPECIFIC LICENSING ACTIVITIES OF THE AGREEMENT STATES

10. Please complete the following table on the total number of active specific licenses for Atomic
    Energy Act materials issued by your state as of December 31, 2002:

      10 CFR part(s) or the applicable agreement      Active licenses as of
      state equivalent                                December 31, 2002
      Part 32                                                   380 (N=29)
      Part 33                                                   248 (N=29)
      Part 34                                                   417 (N=29)
      Part 35                                                  4,795 (N=29)
      Part 36                                                   134 (N=29)
      Part 39                                                   167 (N=29)
      Part 40                                                   137 (N=28)
      Part 70                                                   95 (N=27)
                Total                                          10,611 (N=32)
     Naturally occurring radioactive materials                  153 (N=20)
     Accelerator produced radioactive materials                 324 (N=19)


11. Next, we’d like to obtain data on the number of active specific licenses issued by your state
    program as of December 31, 2002 and how often licensees are inspected. Enter number and
    mark only one response 7 in each row for most common inspection frequency within that
    particular code. If none, please enter “0” (zero). (N=35)


            Please check this box if the license information below includes non-Atomic Energy
     29     Act materials (i.e. naturally occurring or accelerator produced radioactive
            materials)


         NRC license tracking system              Number of             Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use              licensees           Frequency Within This Code
 03250    Introduction of byproduct material       8 (N=33)          More than once per year
          in exempt concentrations into
          products or materials, and transfer                        Once a Year
          of ownership or possession                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                                     Every 4-5 Years
                                                                     Over 5 Years
                                                                     Inspection Not Required




                                                                                                4




Page 62                                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix IV
Results of Survey of Agreement States




      NRC license tracking system             Number of      Most Common Inspection
      program code and license use             licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 03251 Application of byproduct material       0 (N=33)
                                                           More than once per year
        into devices exempt from regulation
        under §30.15                                       Once a Year
                                                           Every 2-3 Years
                                                           Every 4-5 Years
                                                           Over 5 Years
                                                           Inspection Not Required


 03252    Manufacture of resins containing     2 (N=33)    More than once per year
          scandium-46 designed for sand-
          consolidation in oil wells                       Once a Year
                                                           Every 2-3 Years
                                                           Every 4-5 Years
                                                           Over 5 Years
                                                           Inspection Not Required


 03253    Manufacture, distribution, and      15 (N=32)    More than once per year
          transfer of exempt quantities of
          byproduct material                               Once a Year
                                                           Every 2-3 Years
                                                           Every 4-5 Years
                                                           Over 5 Years
                                                           Inspection Not Required


 03256    Manufacture, preparation, or        14 (N=33)    More than once per year
          transfer of capsules containing
          carbon-14 urea for “in vivo”                     Once a Year
          diagnostic use in humans                         Every 2-3 Years
                                                           Every 4-5 Years
                                                           Over 5 Years
                                                           Inspection Not Required




                                                                                     5




Page 63                                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix IV
Results of Survey of Agreement States




         NRC license tracking system           Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use           licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 03254    Manufacture, process, produce, or     6 (N=33)    More than once per year
          initially transfer self-luminous
          products containing tritium,                      Once a Year
          krypton-85 or promethium-147                      Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required


 03255    Manufacture, process, produce, or     1 (N=33)    More than once per year
          initially transfer gas and aerosol
          detectors containing byproduct                    Once a Year
          material                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required


 03240    Manufacture or initially transfer    74 (N=33)    More than once per year
          generally licensed devices under
          §31.5                                             Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required


 03241    Manufacture, assemble, repair, or     1 (N=33)    More than once per year
          initially transfer luminous safety
          devices for use in aircraft                       Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required




                                                                                      6




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         NRC license tracking system              Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use              licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 03242    Manufacture or initially transfer        5 (N=32)    More than once per year
          calibration or reference sources
          containing americium-241                             Once a Year
                                                               Every 2-3 Years
                                                               Every 4-5 Years
                                                               Over 5 Years
                                                               Inspection Not Required


 03243    Manufacture or initially transfer ice    1 (N=33)    More than once per year
          detection devices containing
          strontium-90                                         Once a Year
                                                               Every 2-3 Years
                                                               Every 4-5 Years
                                                               Over 5 Years
                                                               Inspection Not Required


 03244    Manufacture and distribution of         25 (N=33)    More than once per year
          byproduct material for in-vitro
          clinical or laboratory testing under                 Once a Year
          general license                                      Every 2-3 Years
                                                               Every 4-5 Years
                                                               Over 5 Years
                                                               Inspection Not Required


 02511    Manufacture, preparation, or            62 (N=33)    More than once per year
          transfer for commercial distribution
          of radioactive drugs containing                      Once a Year
          byproduct material for medical use                   Every 2-3 Years
          under part 35.
                                                               Every 4-5 Years
                                                               Over 5 Years
                                                               Inspection Not Required




                                                                                         7




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         NRC license tracking system            Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use            licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 02513    Manufacture and distribution of       20 (N=33)    More than once per year
          sources or devices containing
          byproduct material for medical use                 Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 01100    Academic type A specific license of   100 (N=33)   More than once per year
          broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03211    Manufacturing and distribution type   11 (N=33)    More than once per year
          A specific license of broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03610    Research and development type A       57 (N=33)    More than once per year
          specific license of broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required




                                                                                       8




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         NRC license tracking system            Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use            licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 01110    Academic type B specific license of   21 (N=33)    More than once per year
          broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03211    Manufacturing and distribution type    8 (N=33)    More than once per year
          B specific license of broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03611    Research and development type B        7 (N=33)    More than once per year
          specific license of broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 01120    Academic type C specific license of   31 (N=33)    More than once per year
          broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required




                                                                                       9




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         NRC license tracking system            Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use            licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 03213    Manufacturing and distribution type    1 (N=33)    More than once per year
          C specific license of broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03612    Research and development type C       14 (N=33)    More than once per year
          specific license of broad scope
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03310    Industrial radiography fixed          95 (N=33)    More than once per year
          location
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03320    Industrial radiography temporary      379 (N=33)   More than once per year
          job sites
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required




                                                                                       10




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         NRC license tracking system       Number of        Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use       licensees      Frequency Within This Code
 02120    Medical institution              2,519 (N=32)   More than once per year
 02121
                                                          Once a Year
                                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                          Every 4-5 Years
                                                          Over 5 Years
                                                          Inspection Not Required


 02200    Medical private practice         1,805 (N=32)   More than once per year
 02201
                                                          Once a Year
                                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                          Every 4-5 Years
                                                          Over 5 Years
                                                          Inspection Not Required


 02220    Mobile medical service           187 (N=32)     More than once per year
 02231
 02240                                                    Once a Year
                                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                          Every 4-5 Years
                                                          Over 5 Years
                                                          Inspection Not Required


 02210    Eye applicators (strontium-90)    74 (N=33)     More than once per year
                                                          Once a Year
                                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                          Every 4-5 Years
                                                          Over 5 Years
                                                          Inspection Not Required




                                                                                    11




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         NRC license tracking system        Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use        licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 02300    Teletherapy                       55 (N=33)    More than once per year
                                                         Once a Year
                                                         Every 2-3 Years
                                                         Every 4-5 Years
                                                         Over 5 Years
                                                         Inspection Not Required


 02310    Stereotactic radiosurgery—gamma   45 (N=33)    More than once per year
          knife
                                                         Once a Year
                                                         Every 2-3 Years
                                                         Every 4-5 Years
                                                         Over 5 Years
                                                         Inspection Not Required


 02400    Veterinary non-human              110 (N=33)   More than once per year
                                                         Once a Year
                                                         Every 2-3 Years
                                                         Every 4-5 Years
                                                         Over 5 Years
                                                         Inspection Not Required


 02410    In-vitro testing laboratories     147 (N=33)   More than once per year
                                                         Once a Year
                                                         Every 2-3 Years
                                                         Every 4-5 Years
                                                         Over 5 Years
                                                         Inspection Not Required




                                                                                   12




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         NRC license tracking system               Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use               licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 02500    Nuclear pharmacies                       280 (N=33)   More than once per year
                                                                Once a Year
                                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                                Over 5 Years
                                                                Inspection Not Required


 03510    Irradiators self shielded less than      176 (N=33)   More than once per year
          10,000 curies
                                                                Once a Year
                                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                                Over 5 Years
                                                                Inspection Not Required


 03511    Irradiators other less than 10,000       17 (N=33)    More than once per year
          curies
                                                                Once a Year
                                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                                Over 5 Years
                                                                Inspection Not Required


 03520    Irradiators self shielded greater than    9 (N=33)    More than once per year
          10,000 curies
                                                                Once a Year
                                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                                Over 5 Years
                                                                Inspection Not Required




                                                                                          13




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         NRC license tracking system            Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use            licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 03521    All other irradiators greater than    40 (N=33)    More than once per year
          10,000 curies
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03110    Well logging byproduct and/or         70 (N=33)    More than once per year
          special nuclear material tracer and                Once a Year
          sealed sources
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03111    Well logging byproduct and/or         40 (N=33)    More than once per year
          special nuclear material sealed                    Once a Year
          sources only
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required


 03112    Well logging byproduct only           64 (N=33)    More than once per year
                                                             Once a Year
                                                             Every 2-3 Years
                                                             Every 4-5 Years
                                                             Over 5 Years
                                                             Inspection Not Required




                                                                                       14




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         NRC license tracking system    Number of        Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use    licensees      Frequency Within This Code
 03120    Fixed gauges                  1,193 (N=33)   More than once per year
                                                       Once a Year
                                                       Every 2-3 Years
                                                       Every 4-5 Years
                                                       Over 5 Years
                                                       Inspection Not Required


 03121    Portable gauges               3,715 (N=33)   More than once per year
                                                       Once a Year
                                                       Every 2-3 Years
                                                       Every 4-5 Years
                                                       Over 5 Years
                                                       Inspection Not Required


 03122    Analytical instruments        369 (N=33)     More than once per year
                                                       Once a Year
                                                       Every 2-3 Years
                                                       Every 4-5 Years
                                                       Over 5 Years
                                                       Inspection Not Required


 03123    Gas chromatographs            212 (N=33)     More than once per year
                                                       Once a Year
                                                       Every 2-3 Years
                                                       Every 4-5 Years
                                                       Over 5 Years
                                                       Inspection Not Required


 03124    Other measuring systems       146 (N=33)     More than once per year
                                                       Once a Year
                                                       Every 2-3 Years
                                                       Every 4-5 Years
                                                       Over 5 Years
                                                       Inspection Not Required



                                                                                 15




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         NRC license tracking system         Number of      Most Common Inspection
         program code and license use         licensees    Frequency Within This Code
 03221    Instrument calibration service     104 (N=33)   More than once per year
          only—source less than 100 curies                Once a Year
                                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                          Every 4-5 Years
                                                          Over 5 Years
                                                          Inspection Not Required


 03222    Instrument calibration service     21 (N=33)    More than once per year
          only—source greater than 100                    Once a Year
          curies
                                                          Every 2-3 Years
                                                          Every 4-5 Years
                                                          Over 5 Years
                                                          Inspection Not Required




                                                                                    16




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 Appendix IV
 Results of Survey of Agreement States




12. Please complete the following table for radioactive materials licenses issued by your state
    program that are NOT LISTED IN YOUR RESPONSE TO QUESTION 11. Enter the
    license use, number of active licenses issued by your program, and mark only one response 7
    in each row for most common inspection frequency within that particular use.
                                             Number of            Most Common Inspection
                  License use
                                              licensees          Frequency Within This Code
                                                                 More than once per year
                                                                 Once a Year
                                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                                 Inspection Not Required

                                                                 More than once per year
                                                                 Once a Year
                                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                                 Inspection Not Required

                                                                 More than once per year
                                                                 Once a Year
                                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                                 Inspection Not Required

                                                                 More than once per year
                                                                 Once a Year
                                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                                 Inspection Not Required




                                                                                              17




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                                              Number of      Most Common Inspection
                 License use
                                               licensees    Frequency Within This Code
                                                            More than once per year
                                                            Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required

                                                            More than once per year
                                                            Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required

                                                            More than once per year
                                                            Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required

                                                            More than once per year
                                                            Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required


   Please copy and paste above table for additional uses.




                                                                                      18




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13. In your opinion, which 3 uses of radioactive materials, from the license uses listed in
    questions 11 and 12, require the strictest and least strict regulation to protect public health
    and safety?

         Strictest regulation                                Least strict regulation

    1.                                                 1.

    2.                                                 2.

    3.                                                 3.


14. In your opinion, which 3 uses of radioactive materials, from the license uses listed in
    questions 11 and 12, require the strictest and least strict regulation to ensure security? (i.e.
    to prevent the materials’ use by terrorists in a radiological weapon)

         Strictest regulation                                Least strict regulation

    1.                                                 1.

    2.                                                 2.

    3.                                                 3.




                                                                                                   19




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GENERAL LICENSE TRACKING

   15. Does your state program require generally licensed devices to be registered? Mark only one
       response 7) (N=31)

    80.6%   Yes, all generally licensed devices are required to be registered. (skip to question 17)
    16.1%   Yes, but only certain generally licensed devices are required to be registered.

    3.2%
            No, generally licensed devices are not required to be registered with the state. (skip to question
            19)


   16. If only certain generally licensed devices are required to be registered, what criteria
       determine the devices required to be registered with the state program?




   17. If generally licensed devices are required to be registered with your state program, does the
       program maintain a database of registered generally licensed devices? Mark only one
       response 7)


               Yes

               No (skip to question 19)


   18. If yes, how many generally licensed devices are currently registered in your state?




   19. If your state program does not require any generally licensed devices to be registered or
       your state program does not maintain a database of registered generally licensed devices,
       how many such devices would you estimate are present in your state?




                                                                                                         20




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SPECIFIC AND GENERAL LICENSE TRACKING OVERSIGHT

   20. Briefly describe how your program maintains data on materials licenses and inspections.



   21. Please estimate the percentage of inspections of your licensees that are currently overdue.



   22. Are your databases (i.e. licensing records, computer files containing licensee information)
       periodically validated to ensure that licensees are still active (i.e. still conducting business)?
       Mark only one response 7) (N=35)

       97.1%   Yes
        2.9%   No (skip to question 25)


   23. How often do you validate your databases? Mark only one response 7) (N=32)

       46.9%   More than once per year
       40.6%   Once a year
        9.4%   Every 2-3 years
        3.1%   Every 4-5 years
        0.0%   Over 5 years


   24. What steps are taken to validate information in your databases?




   25. Does your state have a program to identify and recover abandoned sources? Mark only one
       response 7) (N=35)

       94.3%   Yes
        5.7%   No (skip to question 27)


   26. Briefly describe your state’s program to identify and recover abandoned sources.




                                                                                                       21




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ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

  27. What enforcement actions are available to your state’s program to ensure laws and
      regulations are followed? (Mark all that apply 7) (N=35)

       0.0%   No enforcement actions available (skip to question 31)
       100%   Notices of violation/citations
      77.1%   Fines/civil penalties
      88.6%   License suspension
      97.1%   License termination
      57.1%   Facility closure
      71.4%   Imprisonment/criminal penalties
      45.7%   Other, please specify:


  28. Please complete the following table on your state program’s enforcement activities over the
      past five years. If none, please enter “0” (zero):

                                               Number of enforcement actions per year

  Enforcement action              1998           1999          2000          2001          2002

  Notices of violation            2,135          2,675         3,056         2,845         2,568
  only (without other            (N=24)         (N=25)        (N=27)        (N=28)        (N=28)
  action)

  Fines/civil penalties      45 (N=23)         50 (N=24)     47 (N=24)     66 (N=26)     57 (N=25)

  License suspension             3 (N=25)       3 (N=26)     8 (N=26)      9 (N=27)      9 (N=27)

  License termination        24 (N=25)         25 (N=26)     26 (N=26)     27 (N=27)     53 (N=27)

  Facility closure               1 (N=24)       0 (N=25)     1 (N=25)      0 (N=25)      1 (N=25)

  Imprisonment/criminal          0 (N=24)       0 (N=25)     2 (N=25)      0 (N=26)      2 (N=26)
  penalties

  Other:                         7 (N=15)       6 (N=16)     14 (N=16)     56 (N=19)     87 (N=19)




                                                                                                   22




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29. How are fines/civil penalties collected by your program utilized? (N=35)

 25.7%   Available for use by the state radiation control program
 45.7%   Deposited into state general fund
 11.4%   Other, please specify:
 20.0%   Not applicable


30. Please briefly describe any enforcement cases since January 1, 1998, that have been difficult
    to resolve, have generated above average public or press interest, have challenged your
    regulatory authority, or have or will result in high clean up costs financed by state or
    federal funds.




                                                                                              23




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EFFECTIVENESS OF CONTROLS OVER RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

   31. To what extent, if at all, do you agree that communications and coordination needs to be
       improved between your state program and the following group? (Mark only one response 7
       in each row)

                  Group                Very great   Great    Moderate   Some      Little or no No Basis to
                                         extent     extent    extent    Extent      extent       Judge

   a) the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory        8.6%       2.9%     28.6%      28.6%      31.4%         0.0%
      Commission (NRC) (N=35)
   b) the U.S. Department of Energy     11.4%       20.0%    25.7%      22.9%       5.7%        14.3%
      (DOE) (N=35)
   c) the Environmental Protection      11.4%       14.3%    25.7%      28.6%      17.1%        2.90%
      Agency (EPA) (N=35)
   d) the Food and Drug                  2.9%       5.7%     20.0%      25.7%      35.7%         8.6%
      Administration (FDA) (N=35)
   e) the U.S. Department of Justice     8.6%       14.3%    14.3%      8.6%        8.6%        45.7%
      (DOJ) (N=35)
   f) the U.S. Department of             5.7%       14.3%    28.6%      28.6%      14.3%         8.6%
      Transportation (DOT) (N=35)
   g) other agreement states (N=35)      2.9%       0.0%      8.6%      20.0%      68.6%         0.0%
   h) non-agreement states (N=35)        2.9%       0.0%      11.4%     25.7%      57.1%         2.9%
   i)   Organization of Agreement        0.0%       2.9%      5.9%      23.5%      67.6%         0.0%
        States (OAS) (N=34)
   j)   Conference of Radiation          0.0%       2.9%      5.9%      17.6%      73.5%         0.0%
        Control Program Directors
        (CRCPD) (N=34)




                                                                                                  24




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32. To what extent, if at all, do you agree with the following statements? (Mark only one
    response 7 in each row) (N=35)

                                       Very great   Great    Moderate   Some      Little or no No Basis to
               Group
                                         extent     extent    extent    Extent      extent       Judge

a) Communications and                   34.3%       34.3%    17.1%      14.3%       0.0%         0.0%
   coordination needs to be
   improved between federal
   agencies with regulatory
   authority for radioactive
   materials
b) The current division of               0.0%       2.9%      5.7%      20.0%      71.4%         0.0%
   regulatory authority for
   radioactive materials between
   NRC, DOE, EPA, DOT and
   FDA is the most effective
   means of federal regulation
c) Consistent radiation protection      48.6%       31.4%     5.7%      8.6%        5.7%         0.0%
   standards need to be developed
   that would apply across all
   federal and state regulatory
   programs.
d) My state program currently has        8.6%       20.0%    25.7%      28.6%      17.1%         0.0%
   sufficient budgetary resources to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
e) My state program currently has       11.4%       31.4%    34.3%      17.1%       5.7%         0.0%
   sufficient technology (e.g.
   radiation survey meters,
   laboratory resources) to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
f) My state program currently has        8.6%       31.4%    25.7%      25.7%       8.6%         0.0%
   sufficient personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
g) My state program currently has       22.9%       42.9%    17.1%      11.4%       5.7%         0.0%
   qualified personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
h) NRC’s Nuclear Materials              14.3%       25.7%    34.3%      17.1%       5.7%         2.9%
   Events Database (NMED)
   accurately and completely
   reflects incidents involving
   radioactive materials in my state


                                                                                                  25




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                                         Very great   Great    Moderate   Some      Little or no No Basis to
                Group
                                           extent     extent    extent    Extent      extent       Judge

i)   DOT’s regulations adequately          0.0%       40.0%    48.6%      8.6%        2.9%         0.0%
     ensure safe and secure transport
     of radioactive materials
j)   The federal government should         0.0%       0.0%      2.9%      40.0%      57.1%         0.0%
     have a greater role in regulating
     radioactive material in the
     United States
k) Additional federal training            31.4%       28.6%    20.0%      11.4%       8.6%         0.0%
   could improve regulation of
   radioactive material in my state
l)   My state’s public safety/law         22.9%       31.4%    28.6%      8.6%        5.7%         2.9%
     enforcement agencies need
     additional training to respond to
     radiological incidents
m) My state program can                    5.7%       22.9%    45.7%      20.0%       5.7%         0.0%
   effectively respond to a
   radiological incident with its
   current resources
n) In the event of a major                 5.7%       34.3%    20.0%      20.0%       5.7%        14.3%
   radiological incident, adequate
   federal resources can be brought
   to bear in a timely manner
o) My state program is adequately         11.4%       42.9%    31.4%      11.4%       2.9%         0.0%
   addressing the post-September
   11th heightened security
   concerns involving malicious
   use of radioactive material (i.e.
   possible use as a “dirty bomb”)
p) Over the next five years, my            8.6%       20.0%    25.7%      20.0%      17.1%         8.6%
   state program will have
   sufficient budgetary resources to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
q) Over the next five years, my            8.6%       25.7%    31.4%      22.9%       5.7%         5.7%
   state program will have
   sufficient technology (e.g.
   radiation survey meters,
   laboratory resources) to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources




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                                         Very great    Great    Moderate     Some       Little or no No Basis to
                 Group
                                           extent      extent    extent      Extent       extent       Judge

r) Over the next five years, my            8.6%        20.0%     34.3%       20.0%       11.4%         5.7%
   state program will have
   sufficient personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
s) Over the next five years, my            8.6%        31.4%     22.9%       25.7%        5.7%         5.7%
   state program will have
   qualified personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources


33. Please fill in the following table on the number of reportable incidents (under NRC or
    equivalent agreement state regulations) involving radiological materials that have occurred
    in your state from 1998 through 2002. If no incidents, please enter “0” (zero).

                                                      Number of incidents per year
      Type of incident
                                       1998           1999        2000           2001             2002

Equipment malfunction            48 (N=24)        32 (N=26)     26 (N=25)     33 (N=25)        47 (N=26)

Radiation overexposure           18 (N=26)        33 (N=26)     33 (N=28)     32 (N=28)        21 (N=28)

Lost, stolen, or abandoned      100 (N=28)        129 (N=27)    129 (N=27)   167 (N=28)       220 (N=28)
materials

Medical events                   101 (N=24)       107 (N=24)    123 (N=27)   114 (N=27)        91 (N=26)

Transportation events            30 (N=26)        37 (N=26)     47 (N=28)     38 (N=28)        34 (N=27)

Leaking sealed sources            9 (N=25)        20 (N=27)     19 (N=27)     14 (N=27)        23 (N=28)

        TOTAL                   341 (N=29)        388 (N=29)    408 (N=30)   454 (N=30)       540 (N=30)


34. For those materials that have been reported lost, stolen, or abandoned from 1998 through
    2002, how many were subsequently recovered? (N=22)

235




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INTEGRATED MATERIALS PERFORMANCE EVALUATION PROGRAM

  35. Do you conduct periodic internal evaluations of your program’s effectiveness? (Mark only
      one response 7) (N=35)

      100%    Yes
      0.0%    No


  36. Apart from the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program, does an outside
      party regularly evaluate your program? (Mark only one response 7) (N=35)

      91.4%   Yes
      8.6%    No


  37. In your opinion, how adequate or inadequate are the following Integrated Materials
      Performance Evaluation Program performance indicators in evaluating your state’s
      radiological protection programs? (Mark only one response 7 in each row)


                                            Very     Generally    Generally      Very         Not
           Performance indicator
                                          adequate   adequate    inadequate   inadequate   applicable
   a) Status of evaluation program         42.9%      48.6%        2.9%         0.0%         5.7%
      (N=35)
   b) Technical quality of inspections     57.1%      37.1%        5.7%         0.0%         0.0%
      (N=35)
   c) Quality of technical staffing and    48.6%      40.0%        8.6%         2.9%         0.0%
      training (N=35)
   d) Technical quality of licensing       48.6%      48.6%        2.9%         0.0%         0.0%
      actions (N=35)
   e) Quality of response to incidents     40.0%      51.4%        8.6%         0.0%         0.0%
      and allegations (N=35)
   f) Sealed source and device             8.8%       44.1%        5.9%         0.0%        41.2%
      evaluation program (N=34)
   g) Low-level radioactive waste          5.9%       17.6%        8.8%         0.0%        67.6%
      disposal program (N=34)
   h) Legislation and program elements     42.9%      40.0%       14.3%         0.0%         2.9%
      required for compatibility (N=35)




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38. What are the strengths of the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program?




39. What are the weaknesses of the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program?




40. Briefly, what improvements, if any, should be made to the Integrated Materials
    Performance Evaluation Program process?




41. Overall, is the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program process an adequate
    means to assess the effectiveness of your state’s regulatory program? (Mark only one
    response 7) (N=35)

    100%   Yes
    0.0%   No




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TRANSPORTATION OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

  42. Does your program regulate the transportation of radioactive material through your state?
      (N=35)

      97.1%   Yes
      2.9%    No


  43. Do you require licensees to notify your program of shipments of radioactive material?
      (N=35)

      97.1%   Yes
      2.9%    No (skip to question 46)


  44. If yes, which types of cargo do you require that your program be notified of shipments of?



  45. Which of the following types of shipments does your state monitor? (N=35)

      60.0%   Spent nuclear fuel
      57.1%   DOE waste material (i.e. shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant)
      51.4%   Byproduct material with high radioactivity
      37.1%   Other, please specify:
      2.9%    No shipments monitored

  46. Please describe any coordination efforts undertaken by your state with other state and/or
      federal agencies regarding the transportation of radioactive material.



  47. What are the strengths of the current regulations on transporting radioactive materials?



  48. What are the weaknesses of the current regulations on transporting radioactive materials?




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49. Under current regulations, to what extent is the transportation of radioactive materials
    vulnerable to terrorist sabotage or other malicious use?




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IMPACT OF SEPTEMBER 11 TO YOUR STATE’S REGULATORY PROGRAM

  50. What impact, if any, has the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had on your state’s
      program in the following areas? (Mark only one response 7 in each row)

                                                                                          No changes
                                                         Minor    Moderate Significant
                                             No Impact                                    made since
                                                         Impact    Impact    Impact
                                                                                         Sept 11, 2001
       a) State radiological protection
                                              54.5%      15.2%     6.1%       3.0%          21.2%
          laws (N=33)
       b) State radiological protection
                                              39.4%      39.4%     9.1%       0.0%          12.1%
          regulations (N=33)
       c) License review procedures
                                              20.6%      44.1%     23.5%      5.9%          5.9%
          (N=34)
       d) Inspection frequency (N=34)         55.9%      29.4%      8.8%      0.0%          5.9%
       e) Inspection procedures (N=34)        17.6%      38.2%     38.2%      2.9%          2.9%
       f) Number of enforcement actions
                                              71.9%      12.5%     12.5%      0.0%          3.1%
          (N=32)
       g) Severity of enforcement actions
                                              60.6%      21.2%     15.2%      0.0%          3.0%
          taken (N=34)
       h) Incident response procedures
                                              14.7%      35.3%     32.4%      14.7%         2.9%
          (N=34)
       i)   Incident investigation
                                              20.6%      47.1%     20.6%      5.9%          5.9%
            procedures (N=34)
       j)   Coordination with federal
                                               2.9%      23.5%     44.1%      23.5%         5.9%
            agencies (N=34)
       k) Coordination with other states
                                              29.4%      35.3%     26.5%      2.9%          5.9%
          (N=34)
       l)   Coordination with state law
            enforcement/public safety          2.9%      32.4%     38.2%      26.5%         0.0%
            agencies (N=34)
       m) Financial support from state
                                              63.6%      9.1%      0.0%       6.1%          21.2%
          legislature (N=33)
       n) Monitoring of transportation of
          radioactive material through        45.5%      18.2%     27.3%      6.1%          3.0%
          your state (N=33)
       o) Federal financial aid to your
                                              63.6%      9.1%      3.0%       3.0%          21.2%
          state program (N=33)
       p) Federal training support to your
                                              60.6%      21.1%     9.1%       0.0%          18.2%
          state program (N=33)
       q) Federal technology support to
                                              57.6%      21.2%     3.0%       0.0%          18.2%
          your state program (N=33)


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51. Please describe specific efforts that have been initiated or considered by your state since
    September 11, 2001, to better safeguard radiological sources.



52. In your opinion, should post-September 11 security measures be developed and enforced by
    the NRC under the common defense and security authority given it by the Atomic Energy
    Act or by the agreement states under their health and safety authority? Why? (N=34)

   States = 82.4%; NRC = 5.9%; Both = 11.8%

53. Does your state have sufficient resources to support these new efforts or are additional
    resources needed? (N=35)

   Yes = 34.3%; No = 65.7%




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CHANGES NEEDED AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL

  54. In your opinion, what are the 3 most significant changes (in rank order) that could be made
      at the federal level to improve the regulation of radioactive material to protect public health
      and safety?

       #1.
       #2.

       #3.


  55. In your opinion, what are the 3 most significant changes (in rank order) that could be made
      at the federal level to improve the security of radioactive material?

       #1.
       #2.

       #3.


  56. In your opinion, what are the 3 most significant changes (in rank order) that could be made
      at the federal level to improve the transportation of radioactive material?

       #1.
       #2.

       #3.




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57. Please use the space below to list any additional information about issues related to
    radioactive sources or concerns raised in this survey.




                          Thank you for your assistance in our survey.




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Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States                                                                                     Append
                                                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                                                   i
                                                                                                                                   V




                                                    United States General Accounting Office

                                                    Non-Agreement State Survey on Security of
                                                    Radioactive Sources

              Background
                                                                       If you have any questions about the survey,
              The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the            please contact:
              investigative arm of Congress, is reviewing the
              regulation of radioactive materials in the United                  Ryan T. Coles
              States. Congress has asked the GAO to answer                       Office: 202-512-6888
              the following questions:                                           E-mail: ColesR@gao.gov
                  1. What is the known universe of
                                                                                 Peter Ruedel
                     radiological sources in the United States
                                                                                 Office: 202-512-8753
                     and how many have been lost, stolen, or
                                                                                 E-mail: RuedelP@gao.gov
                     abandoned?

                  2. How effective are federal and state                         Heather Von Behren
                     controls over radiological sources?                         Office: 202-512-6768
                                                                                 E-mail: VonBehrenH@gao.gov
                  3. What efforts are underway since                   If you prefer to return the survey via FedEx, the
                     September 11, 2001, to improve the                return address is:
                     controls over radiological sources?

              As part of our review, we are conducting                           U.S. General Accounting Office
              surveys of state radiation control agencies,                       Attention: Ryan T. Coles
              including agreement and non-agreement states,                      Natural Resources and Environment
              Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of                             441 G Street, NW Room 2T23
              Columbia. The principal aims of this survey are                    Washington, DC 20548
              to obtain information from each state on the
                                                                       Due to increased security put in place following
              number and types of radiological sources being
                                                                       the anthrax incidents of October 2001, please do
              regulated by the state and obtain states’ views on
                                                                       not use the U.S. Postal Service to return surveys
              the effectiveness of the current federal and state
                                                                       to GAO.
              regulatory framework.

              Your cooperation in completing this survey is            Although this questionnaire may require input
              essential for an accurate and timely report to the       from various individuals, we ask that one person
              Congress on the current state of regulatory              assume responsibility for coordinating its
              control over radioactive materials. To be                completion. Please list that person’s name
              included in our report, your response within 3           below in case we have questions or need follow-
              weeks of receipt is greatly appreciated.                 up. Thank you.

              Directions for Completing this Questionnaire             Name:

              Please complete this questionnaire and return it         Title:
              via email (ColesR@gao.gov), fax (202-512-
              6880), or FedEx within 3 weeks of receipt.               Telephone #:
              GAO will take steps to safeguard the privacy of
              your responses.                                          E-mail:


                                                                   1




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PROGRAM INFORMATION

  1. First, we’d like to get some basic information about your state’s radiation control program.
     Please provide the following information.

     Program name:

     State department/division/office (e.g. Department of Health):

     City the main office is located in:

     State:

     Current director of program:


  2. Please list your program’s total budget for the following calendar years:

     2000 (Actual)             $3,825,733 (N=10)
     2001 (Actual)             $4,340,987 (N=10)
     2002 (Actual)             $4,661,911 (N=10)
     2003 (Projected)          $5,331,768 (N=11)


  3. What are the sources of your program’s funding? (Mark all that apply 7) (N=12)

   50.0%   Fees charged to licensees
   83.3%   Appropriations from state general fund
   50.0%   Other, please specify:


  4. How many full-time equivalent (FTE) staff does your program currently employ? (N=12)


     92




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5. Of the total number of staff reported in question #3, how many FTEs do you have in the
   following categories?

             Category of Staff                      Number
    Inspectors
    License reviewers
    Other Technical Staff
    Other Non-Technical Staff



6. How many of your technical staff (including inspectors and license reviewers) are
   professionally certified (e.g. certified health physicists, nuclear medicine technologists, etc.)?




7. How many staff were employed in your state in the following categories on January 1,
   1998? (N=12)

             Category of Staff            Number on January 1, 1998
    Inspectors
    License reviewers
    Other Technical Staff
    Other Non-Technical Staff
             TOTAL*                     90


8. Over the next five years, do you estimate your total full-time equivalent positions will
   increase or decrease for technical and non-technical staff? (Mark only one response 7 for
   each type of staff)

           Technical Staff (N=12)            Non-Technical Staff (N=11)
    16.7%    Increase                   9.1%     Increase
    8.3%     Decrease                   0.0%     Decrease
    75.0%    Stay about the same        90.9%    Stay about the same




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LICENSING ACTIVITIES OF THE NON-AGREEMENT STATES

9. As of December 31, 2002, how many active licenses are currently issued by your state
   program for the production and/or use of naturally occurring or accelerator produced
   radioactive materials (N=12)

   2751


10. Next, we would like to obtain information on licenses issued by your program for uses of
    naturally occurring radioactive material and accelerator produced radioactive material
    Enter the license use, mark whether it is for naturally occurring OR accelerator produced
    radioactive material, and enter the number of active licenses issued by your state program.
    Mark only one response 7 in the column for most common inspection frequency within each
    license use.
   Use #1:
                                             Number of             Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                              licenses            Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                                  More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                                 Once a Year
                                                                  Every 2-3 Years
                                                                  Every 4-5 Years
                                                                  Over 5 Years
                                                                  Inspection Not Required


   Use #2:
                                             Number of             Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                              licenses            Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                                  More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                                 Once a Year
                                                                  Every 2-3 Years
                                                                  Every 4-5 Years
                                                                  Over 5 Years
                                                                  Inspection Not Required




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   Use #3:
                                    Number of    Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                     licenses   Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                More than once per year
             Accelerator produced               Once a Year
                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                Over 5 Years
                                                Inspection Not Required


   Use #4:
                                    Number of    Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                     licenses   Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                More than once per year
             Accelerator produced               Once a Year
                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                Over 5 Years
                                                Inspection Not Required


   Use #5:
                                    Number of    Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                     licenses   Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                More than once per year
             Accelerator produced               Once a Year
                                                Every 2-3 Years
                                                Every 4-5 Years
                                                Over 5 Years
                                                Inspection Not Required




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   Use #6:
                                    Number of     Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                     licensees   Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                 More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                Once a Year
                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                 Inspection Not Required


   Use #7:
                                    Number of     Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                     licensees   Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                 More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                Once a Year
                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                 Inspection Not Required


   Use #8:
                                    Number of     Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                     licensees   Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                 More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                Once a Year
                                                 Every 2-3 Years
                                                 Every 4-5 Years
                                                 Over 5 Years
                                                 Inspection Not Required




                                                                            6




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   Use #9:
                                              Number of      Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                               licensees    Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                            More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                           Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required


   Use #10:
                                              Number of      Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                               licensees    Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                            More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                           Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required


   Use #11:
                                              Number of      Most Common Inspection
                 Type of Material
                                               licensees    Frequency Within This Code
             Naturally occurring                            More than once per year
             Accelerator produced                           Once a Year
                                                            Every 2-3 Years
                                                            Every 4-5 Years
                                                            Over 5 Years
                                                            Inspection Not Required

   Please copy and paste above table for additional uses.




                                                                                      7




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11. In your opinion, which 3 uses of radioactive materials—byproduct, naturally occurring, or
    accelerator produced—require the strictest and least strict regulation to protect public
    health and safety?

         Strictest regulation                            Least strict regulation

    1.                                              1.

    2.                                              2.

    3.                                              3.


12. In your opinion, which 3 uses of radioactive materials—byproduct, naturally occurring, or
    accelerator produced—require the strictest and least strict regulation to ensure security?
    (i.e. to prevent the materials’ use by terrorists in a radiological weapon)

         Strictest regulation                            Least strict regulation

    1.                                              1.

    2.                                              2.

    3.                                              3.




                                                                                                 8




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LICENSE TRACKING OVERSIGHT

   13. Briefly describe how your program maintains data on materials licenses and inspections.



   14. Please estimate the percentage of inspections of your licensees that are currently overdue.



   15. Are your databases (i.e. licensing records, computer files containing licensee information)
       periodically validated to ensure that licensees are still active (i.e. still conducting business)?
       Mark only one response 7) (N=11)

       81.8%   Yes
       18.2%   No (skip to question 18)


   16. How often do you validate your databases? Mark only one response 7) (N=9)

       11.0%   More than once per year
       33.3%   Once a year
       44.4%   Every 2-3 years
       11.1%   Every 4-5 years
        0.0%   Over 5 years


   17. What steps are taken to validate information in your databases?




   18. Does your state have a program to identify and recover abandoned sources? Mark only one
       response 7) (N=12)

       33.3%   Yes
       66.7%   No (skip to question 20)




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19. Briefly describe your state’s program to identify and recover abandoned sources.




                                                                                        10




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ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

  20. What enforcement actions are available to your state’s program to ensure laws and
      regulations are followed? (Mark all that apply 7) (N=12)

      16.7%   No enforcement actions available (skip to question 24)
      83.3%   Notices of violation/citations
      58.3%   Fines/civil penalties
      58.3%   License suspension
      66.7%   License termination
      58.3%   Facility closure
      25.0%   Imprisonment/criminal penalties
       0.0%   Other, please specify:


  21. Please complete the following table on your state program’s enforcement activities over the
      past five years. If none, please enter “0” (zero):

                                               Number of enforcement actions per year

  Enforcement action              1998           1999          2000          2001          2002

  Notices of violation       302 (N=9)         340 (N=9)     265 (N=9)     303 (N=9)     519 (N=10)
  only (without other
  action)

  Fines/civil penalties          5 (N=6)        4 (N=6)       7 (N=6)      10 (N=6)       7 (N=6)

  License suspension             0 (N=7)        0 (N=7)       0 (N=7)       1 (N=7)       0 (N=7)

  License termination            0 (N=6)        0 (N=6)       0 (N=6)       1 (N=6)       2 (N=7)

  Facility closure               0 (N=6)        0 (N=6)       0 (N=6)       0 (N=6)       0 (N=6)

  Imprisonment/criminal          0 (N=5)        0 (N=5)       0 (N=5)       0 (N=5)       0 (N=5)
  penalties

  Other:                         0 (N=1)        0 (N=1)       0 (N=1)       1 (N=1)       0 (N=1)




                                                                                                  11




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22. How are fines/civil penalties collected by your program utilized? (N=12)

 16.7%   Available for use by the state radiation control program
 41.7%   Deposited into state general fund
 16.7%   Other, please specify:
 33.3%   Not applicable


23. Please briefly describe any enforcement cases since January 1, 1998, that have been difficult
    to resolve, have generated above average public or press interest, have challenged your
    regulatory authority, or have or will result in high clean up costs financed by state or
    federal funds.




                                                                                              12




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EFFECTIVENESS OF CONTROLS OVER RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

   24. To what extent, if at all, do you agree that communications and coordination needs to be
       improved between your state program and the following group(s)? (Mark only one response
       7 in each row) (N=12)

                  Group                Very great   Great    Moderate   Some      Little or no No Basis to
                                         extent     extent    extent    Extent      extent       Judge

   a) the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory        0.0%       8.3%     16.7%      8.3%       66.7%         0.0%
      Commission (NRC)
   b) the U.S. Department of Energy      8.3%       16.7%    41.7%      25.0%       8.3%         0.0%
      (DOE)
   c) the Environmental Protection       8.3%       16.7%     8.3%      41.7%      25.0%         0.0%
      Agency (EPA)
   d) the Food and Drug                  0.0%       16.7%     0.0%      41.7%      41.7%         0.0%
      Administration (FDA)
   e) the U.S. Department of Justice     8.3%       25.0%     0.0%      25.0%       8.3%        33.3%
      (DOJ)
   f) the U.S. Department of             8.3%       16.7%     8.3%      41.7%       0.0%        25.0%
      Transportation (DOT)
   g) agreement states                   0.0%       8.3%      8.3%      33.3%      25.0%        25.0%
   h) other non-agreement states         0.0%       8.3%      16.7%     33.3%      16.7%        25.0%
   i)   Organization of Agreement        0.0%       8.3%      0.0%      16.7%      50.0%        25.0%
        States (OAS)
   j)   Conference of Radiation          0.0%       0.0%      0.0%      25.0%      75.0%         0.0%
        Control Program Directors
        (CRCPD)




                                                                                                  13




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25. To what extent, if at all, do you agree with the following statement? (Mark only one
    response 7 in each row) (N=12)

                                       Very great   Great    Moderate   Some      Little or no No Basis to
               Group
                                         extent     extent    extent    Extent      extent       Judge

a) Communications and                    8.3%       33.3%     0.0%      50.0%       0.0%         8.3%
   coordination needs to be
   improved between federal
   agencies with regulatory
   authority for radioactive
   materials
b) The current division of               0.0%       8.3%      8.3%      25.0%      50.0%         8.3%
   regulatory authority for
   radioactive materials between
   NRC, DOE, EPA, DOT and
   FDA is the most effective
   means of federal regulation
c) Consistent radiation protection      50.0%       8.3%      8.3%      83.3%       0.0%         0.0%
   standards need to be developed
   that would apply across all
   federal and state regulatory
   programs.
d) My state program currently has        0.0%       8.3%      8.3%      0.0%       33.3%         0.0%
   sufficient budgetary resources to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
e) My state program currently has        8.3%       16.7%    41.7%      0.0%       33.3%         0.0%
   sufficient technology (e.g.
   radiation survey meters,
   laboratory resources) to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
f) My state program currently has        0.0%       16.7%     0.0%      8.3%       75.0%         0.0%
   sufficient personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
g) My state program currently has        8.3%       33.3%    16.7%      33.3%       8.3%         0.0%
   qualified personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
h) NRC’s Nuclear Materials               8.3%       8.3%     16.7%      25.0%       0.0%         41.7%
   Events Database (NMED)
   accurately and completely
   reflects incidents involving
   radioactive materials in my state


                                                                                                  14




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                                         Very great   Great    Moderate   Some      Little or no No Basis to
                Group
                                           extent     extent    extent    Extent      extent       Judge

i)   DOT’s regulations adequately         16.7%       33.3%    16.7%      16.7%       8.3%         8.3%
     ensure safe and secure transport
     of radioactive materials
j)   The federal government should        16.7%       0.0%     25.0%      16.7%      33.3%         8.3%
     have a greater role in regulating
     radioactive material in the
     United States
k) Additional federal training            33.3%       25.0%    16.7%      25.0%       0.0%         0.0%
   could improve regulation of
   radioactive material in my state
l)   My state’s public safety/law         50.0%       8.3%     33.3%      8.3%        0.0%         0.0%
     enforcement agencies need
     additional training to respond to
     radiological incidents
m) My state program can                    0.0%       16.7%    41.7%      33.3%       8.3%         0.0%
   effectively respond to a
   radiological incident with its
   current resources
n) In the event of a major                 8.3%       0.0%     58.3%      8.3%       16.7%         8.3%
   radiological incident, adequate
   federal resources can be brought
   to bear in a timely manner
o) My state program is adequately          0.0%       0.0%     25.0%      41.7%      33.3%         0.0%
   addressing the post-September
   11th heightened security
   concerns involving malicious
   use of radioactive material (i.e.
   possible use as a “dirty bomb”)
p) Over the next five years, my            0.0%       8.3%     16.7%      0.0%       66.7%         8.3%
   state program will have
   sufficient budgetary resources to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
q) Over the next five years, my            0.0%       25.0%    25.0%      16.7%      25.0%         8.3%
   state program will have
   sufficient technology (e.g.
   radiation survey meters,
   laboratory resources) to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources




                                                                                                    15




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                                         Very great     Great    Moderate    Some       Little or no No Basis to
                 Group
                                           extent       extent    extent     Extent       extent       Judge

r) Over the next five years, my            0.0%         8.3%      0.0%       8.3%        75.0%         8.3%
   state program will have
   sufficient personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources
s) Over the next five years, my            0.0%         8.3%     33.3%       25.0%       25.0%         8.3%
   state program will have
   qualified personnel to
   effectively regulate radiological
   sources


26. Please fill in the following table on the number of reportable incidents (under your state
    regulations, if any) involving naturally occurring or accelerator produced radiological
    materials that have occurred in your state from 1998 through 2002. If no incidents, please
    enter “0” (zero).

                                                       Number of incidents per year
      Type of incident
                                       1998           1999         2000          2001             2002

Equipment malfunction                  0 (N=7)         0(N=7)       0(N=7)        0(N=7)           0(N=7)

Radiation overexposure                 0 (N=7)         0(N=7)      2 (N=8)        2(N=7)           1(N=7)

Lost, stolen, or abandoned         26 (N=9)           32(N=9)    13 (N=10)     18 (N=10)       19 (N=10)
materials

Medical events                         6 (N=7)         4 (N=7)     0 (N=8)       2 (N=8)          5 (N=8)

Transportation events              16 (N=8)           23 (N=8)     9 (N=8)      10 (N=9)          5 (N=8)

Leaking sealed sources                 1 (N=7)         0 (N=7)     0 (N=7)       0 (N=7)          0 (N=7)

        TOTAL                    115 (N=11)       140 (N=11)     89 (N=11)     94 (N=11)      109 (N=12)


27. For those materials that have been reported lost, stolen, or abandoned from 1998 through
    2002, how many were subsequently recovered? (N=12)

10




                                                                                                         16




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  Appendix V
  Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States




NON-AGREEMENT STATE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

  28. Do you conduct periodic internal evaluations of your program’s effectiveness? (Mark only
      one response 7) (N=12)

      66.7%   Yes
      33.3%   No


  29. Does an outside party (i.e. consultants or auditors) regularly evaluate your program?
      (Mark only one response 7) (N=12)

      8.3%    Yes
      91.7%   No




                                                                                              17




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  Appendix V
  Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States




TRANSPORTATION OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

  30. Does your program regulate the transportation of radioactive material through your state?
      (N=12)

      25.0%   Yes
      75.0%   No


  31. Do you require licensees to notify your program of shipments of radioactive material?
      (N=12)

      16.7%   Yes
      83.3%   No (skip to question 34)


  32. If yes, which types of cargo do you require that your program be notified of shipments of?



  33. Which of the following types of shipments does your state monitor?

      100%    Spent nuclear fuel
      85.7%   DOE waste material (i.e. shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant)
      100%    Byproduct material with high radioactivity
      62.5%   Other, please specify:

  34. Please describe any coordination efforts undertaken by your state with other state and/or
      federal agencies regarding the transportation of radioactive material.



  35. What are the strengths of the current regulations on transporting radioactive materials?



  36. What are the weaknesses of the current regulations on transporting radioactive materials?



  37. Under current regulations, to what extent is the transportation of radioactive materials
      vulnerable to terrorist sabotage or other malicious use?



                                                                                                   18




  Page 111                                                                             GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
  Appendix V
  Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States




IMPACT OF SEPTEMBER 11 TO YOUR STATE’S REGULATORY PROGRAM

  38. What impact, if any, has the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had on your state’s
      program in the following areas? (Mark only one response 7 in each row) (N=12)

                                                                                          No changes
                                                         Minor    Moderate Significant
                                             No Impact                                    made since
                                                         Impact    Impact    Impact
                                                                                         Sept 11, 2001
       a) State radiological protection
                                              50.0%      8.3%      0.0%       0.0%          41.7%
          laws
       b) State radiological protection
                                              58.3%      8.3%      0.0%       0.0%          33.3%
          regulations
       c) License review procedures           41.7%      8.3%      16.7%      0.0%          33.3%
       d) Inspection frequency                54.6%      9.1%       0.0%      9.1%          27.3%
       e) Inspection procedures               41.7%      8.3%       8.3%      0.0%          41.7%
       f) Number of enforcement actions       66.7%      0.0%       0.0%      0.0%          33.3%
       g) Severity of enforcement actions
                                              66.7%      0.0%      0.0%       0.0%          33.3%
          taken
       h) Incident response procedures        16.7%      16.7%      8.3%      41.7%         16.7%
       i)   Incident investigation
                                              16.7%      8.3%      33.3%      16.7%         25.0%
            procedures
       j)   Coordination with federal
                                               8.3%      41.7%     8.3%       25.0%         16.7%
            agencies
       k) Coordination with other states      25.0%      25.0%     16.7%      8.3%          25.0%
       l)   Coordination with state law
            enforcement/public safety        16.7%       33.3%     8.3%       33.3%         8.3%
            agencies
       m) Financial support from your
                                              58.3%      0.0%      0.0%       0.0%          41.7%
          state legislature
       n) Monitoring of transportation of
          radioactive material through        33.3%      25.0%     8.3%       0.0%          33.3%
          your state
       o) Federal financial aid to your
                                              41.7%      8.3%      16.7%      0.0%          33.3%
          state program
       p) Federal training support to your
                                              50.0%      16.7%     16.7%      0.0%          16.7%
          state program
       q) Federal technology support to
                                              58.3%      8.3%      8.3%       0.0%          25.0%
          your state program




                                                                                                    19




  Page 112                                                                      GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
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Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States




39. Please describe specific efforts that have been initiated or considered by your state since
    September 11, 2001, to better safeguard radiological sources.



40. Does your state have sufficient resources to support these new efforts or are additional
    resources needed? (N=12)

   91.6% of states responding to the survey indicated they do not have sufficient resources to
   support new efforts.

   8.3% of states responding to the survey indicated they have sufficient resources to support new
   efforts.




                                                                                                     20




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  Appendix V
  Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States




CHANGES NEEDED AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL

  41. In your opinion, what are the 3 most significant changes (in rank order) that could be made
      at the federal level to improve the regulation of radioactive material to protect public health
      and safety?

       #1.
       #2.

       #3.


  42. In your opinion, what are the 3 most significant changes (in rank order) that could be made
      at the federal level to improve the security of radioactive material?

       #1.
       #2.

       #3.


  43. In your opinion, what are the 3 most significant changes (in rank order) that could be made
      at the federal level to improve the transportation of radioactive material?

       #1.
       #2.

       #3.




                                                                                                   21




  Page 114                                                                        GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
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Results of Survey of Non-Agreement States




44. Please use the space below to list any additional information about issues related to
    radioactive sources or concerns raised in this survey.




                          Thank you for your assistance in our survey.




                                                                                            22




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Appendix VI

Comments from the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission                                                 Appendx
                                                                 iVI




              Page 116           GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix VI
Comments from the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission




Page 117                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
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Comments from the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission




Page 118                               GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
Appendix VII

GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                                           Append
                                                                                                     x
                                                                                                     iVI




GAO Contact       Gene Aloise (202) 512-6870



Acknowledgments   In addition to the individual named above, Ryan T. Coles, Robert G. Crystal,
                  Doreen S. Feldman, Judy K. Pagano, Terry L. Richardson, Peter E. Ruedel,
                  Rebecca Shea, and Heather W. Von Behren also made key contributions to
                  this report.




(360274)          Page 119                                            GAO-03-804 Nuclear Security
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