In the U.S., almost anyone can buy hazardous radioactive materials based on forged documents, revealed an investigation

In the U.S., almost anyone can buy hazardous radioactive materials based on forged documents, reveal

The U.S. Court of Accounts investigators controlled the purchase of radioactive materials using forged documents, and neither the payment nor the receipt of material was problematic, which caused the authorities to think about US nuclear safety. The atomic bomb cannot be made out of these purchases, but the dirty bomb is real. The legislative gap in licensing is going to be eliminated before the end of 2023, and so far, the vendors are being encouraged to pay attention.

In the United States, radioactive materials for science, medicine and production are divided into five categories: categories 1 and 2 are controlled in the strictest manner, both in terms of composition and quantity of the substances being purchased; categories 4 and 5 apply to materials that do not pose a threat in any quantity; the third category refers to hazardous radioactive materials but are sold in small quantities and licensed in a special way; for example, the seller is entitled to request a paper copy of the purchase licence, but may not carry out an inspection.

The GAO investigators, through front companies, created a false licence and were able to purchase radioactive materials from more than one supplier, from payment and transfer of all authorization documents to the receipt stage. At the receipt stage, the GAO investigators accompanied the material back to the seller.

The fact that a national regulator has acquired radioactive materials in the hands of several vendors is a threat that even small shipments can be connected to a dangerous effect. In fact, the deal has been missed by both sellers without checking the authenticity license and by a regulator who has missed the possibility of dangerous concentrations of hazardous materials.

The U.S. Court of Accounts inspectors, who identified this hole in the radioactive material accounting and trafficking system, submitted recommendations to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which issues licences that control the type and quantity of material that can be held for some purpose.

In order to address the vulnerability of the system of trafficking in radioactive materials in the United States, the Chamber of Accounts made two recommendations: NRK "immediately" requires suppliers to check category 3 licences and add security functions to the licensing process; however, bureaucratic procedures are unlikely to solve the problem before the end of 2023, notes the regulator.

Insufficient control over the licensing and verification of companies directly or indirectly responsible for nuclear safety in the US manifests itself in a threatening scale from the identified possibility of the purchase of radioactive materials by unidentified individuals to the use of counterfeit parts at an existing nuclear power plant and to the installation of Chinese radio transmission equipment near secret military nuclear bases.