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Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Additional Actions Needed to Ensure Adequate Testing of Next Generation Radiation Detection Equipment

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in our national defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors. In March 2006, GAO recommended that DNDO conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the new portal monitors were worth the additional cost. In June 2006, DNDO issued its analysis. In October 2006, GAO concluded that DNDO did not provide a sound analytical basis for its decision to purchase and deploy ASP technology and recommended further testing of ASPs. DNDO conducted this ASP testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) between February and March 2007. GAO's statement addresses the test methods DNDO used to demonstrate the performance capabilities of the ASPs and whether the NTS test results should be relied upon to make a full-scale production decision."
Date: September 18, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Has Made Some Progress but Not Yet Completed a Strategic Plan for Its Global Nuclear Detection Efforts or Closed Identified Gaps

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In April 2005, a Presidential Directive established the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enhance and coordinate federal, state, and local efforts to combat nuclear smuggling abroad and domestically. DNDO was directed to develop, in coordination with the departments of Defense, Energy, and State, an enhanced global nuclear detection system of radiation detection equipment and interdiction activities. (DNDO refers to this system as an architecture.) DNDO is to implement the domestic portion of the architecture. Federal efforts to combat nuclear smuggling have largely focused on established ports of entry, such as seaports and land border crossings, and DNDO has also been examining nuclear detection strategies along other pathways. Over the past 7 years, GAO has issued numerous recommendations on nuclear or radiological detection to the Secretary of Homeland Security, most recently in January 2009. This testimony discusses the status of DHS efforts to (1) complete the deployment of radiation detection equipment to scan all cargo and conveyances entering the United States at ports of entry, (2) prevent smuggling of nuclear or radiological materials via the critical gaps DNDO identified, and (3) develop a strategic plan for the global nuclear detection architecture. GAO's testimony is based on prior work that was updated by obtaining DHS documents and interviewing DHS officials."
Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Challenges Facing U.S. Efforts to Deploy Radiation Detection Equipment in Other Countries and in the United States

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO is releasing two reports today on U.S. efforts to combat nuclear smuggling in foreign countries and in the United States. Together with the March 2005 report on the Department of Energy's Megaports Initiative, these reports represent GAO's analysis of the U.S. effort to deploy radiation detection equipment worldwide. In my testimony, I will discuss (1) the progress made and challenges faced by the Departments of Energy (DOE), Defense (DOD), and State in providing radiation detection equipment to foreign countries and (2) the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts to install radiation detection equipment at U.S. ports of entry and challenges it faces."
Date: March 28, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Recent Testing Raises Issues About the Potential Effectiveness of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in the nation's defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment being used at ports of entry. DNDO expects that ASPs may offer improvements over current-generation portal monitors, particularly the potential to identify as well as detect radioactive material and thereby to reduce both the risk of missed threats and the rate of innocent alarms, which DNDO considers to be key limitations of radiation detection equipment currently used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at U.S. ports of entry. However, ASPs cost significantly more than current generation portal monitors. Due to concerns about ASPs' cost and performance, Congress has required that the Secretary of Homeland Security certify that ASPs provide a significant increase in operational effectiveness before obligating funds for full-scale ASP procurement. In May 2009, GAO issued a report (GAO-09-655) on the status of the ongoing ASP testing round. This testimony (1) discusses the principal findings and recommendations from GAO's May report on ASP testing and (2) updates those findings based on information from DNDO and CBP officials on the results of testing conducted since the report's issuance. DHS, DNDO, and CBP's oral comments on GAO's new findings were included as appropriate."
Date: November 17, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Lessons Learned from DHS Testing of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in the nation's defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment being used at ports of entry. DNDO expects that ASPs may offer improvements over current-generation portal monitors, particularly the potential to identify as well as detect radioactive material and thereby to reduce both the risk of missed threats and the rate of innocent alarms, which DNDO considers to be key limitations of radiation detection equipment currently used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at U.S. ports of entry. However, ASPs cost significantly more than current generation portal monitors. Due to concerns about ASPs' cost and performance, Congress has required that the Secretary of Homeland Security certify that ASPs provide a significant increase in operational effectiveness before obligating funds for full-scale ASP procurement. This testimony addresses (1) GAO findings on DNDO's latest round of ASP testing, and (2) lessons from ASP testing that can be applied to other DHS technology investments. These findings are based on GAO's May 2009 report GAO-09-655 and other related reports."
Date: June 25, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Efforts to Deploy Radiation Detection Equipment in the United States and in Other Countries

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, between 1993 and 2004, there were 650 confirmed cases of illicit trafficking in nuclear and radiological materials worldwide. A significant number of the cases involved material that could be used to produce either a nuclear weapon or a device that uses conventional explosives with radioactive material (known as a "dirty bomb"). Over the past decade, the United States has become increasingly concerned about the danger that unsecured weapons-usable nuclear material could fall into the hands of terrorists or countries of concern. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, there is heightened concern that terrorists may try to smuggle nuclear materials or a nuclear weapon into the United States. This testimony summarizes the results of our previous reports on various U.S. efforts to combat nuclear smuggling both in the United States and abroad. Specifically, this testimony discusses (1) the different U.S. federal agencies tasked with installing radiation detection equipment both domestically and in other countries, (2) problems with coordination among these agencies and programs, and (3) the effectiveness of radiation detection equipment deployed in the United States and other countries."
Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DNDO Has Not Yet Collected Most of the National Laboratories' Test Results on Radiation Portal Monitors in Support of DNDO's Testing and Development Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Preventing a nuclear weapon or radiological dispersal device (a "dirty bomb") from being smuggled into the United States is a key national security priority. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through its Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), has lead responsibility for conducting the research, development, testing, and evaluation of radiation detection equipment that can be used to detect smuggled nuclear or radiological materials. Much of DNDO's work on radiation detection equipment to date has focused on the development and use of radiation detection portal monitors, which are larger-scale equipment that can screen vehicles, people, and cargo entering the United States. Current portal monitors, made of polyvinyl toluene (plastic) and known as "PVTs," detect the presence of radiation but cannot distinguish between benign, naturally occurring radiological materials (NORM) such as ceramic tile, and dangerous materials such as highly enriched uranium (HEU). DNDO hopes that the next generation of portal monitors, known as "Advanced Spectroscopic Portals" (ASP), will be able to detect and more specifically identify radiological and nuclear materials within a shipping container. Given DNDO's goal of replacing PVT portal monitors with much more expensive ASPs, it is important for DNDO to fully understand the relative advantages and disadvantages of PVTs and ASPs before making the multibillion dollar investment that would be necessary to implement its current plan. Further, in light of the important role that DNDO foresees for state and local governments in radiation detection, it is also important that DNDO communicate this understanding to its state and local partners. Our October 2006 report concluded that DNDO's assessment of ASPs did not fully support DNDO's decision to purchase and deploy them. This report examines whether DNDO has fully collected and maintained all existing tests on PVTs in order ...
Date: March 9, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Needs to Consider the Full Costs and Complete All Tests Prior to Making a Decision on Whether to Purchase Advanced Portal Monitors

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in our national defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors, to replace radiation detection equipment currently being used at ports of entry. ASPs may offer improvements over current generation portal monitors, particularly the potential to identify as well as detect radioactive material and thereby minimize both missed threats and false alarms. However, ASPs cost significantly more than current generation portal monitors, and testing of ASPs' capabilities needs to be more objective and rigorous. Due to concerns about ASPs' cost and performance, Congress has required that the Secretary of DHS certify that ASPs will provide a significant increase in operational effectiveness before obligating funds for full-scale ASP procurement. DHS is currently testing ASPs and anticipates a decision on certification in November 2008. This testimony addresses (1) the highlights of GAO's September 2008 report on the life cycle cost estimate to deploy ASPs (GAO-08-1108R), and (2) preliminary observations from ongoing work reviewing the current program of ASP testing."
Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS has Developed Plans for Its Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, but Challenges Remain in Deploying Equipment

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over the past 10 years, DHS has made significant progress in deploying radiation detection equipment to scan for nuclear or radiological materials in nearly all trucks and containerized cargo coming into the United Stated through seaports and border crossings. However, challenges remain for the agency in developing a similar scanning capability for railcars entering this country from Canada and Mexico, as well as for international air cargo and international commercial aviation. As portal monitors approach the end of their expected service lives, observations from our past work may help DHS as it considers options to refurbish or replace such monitors. Among other things, we have previously reported that DHS should (1) test new equipment rigorously prior to acquisition and deployment, (2) obtain the full concurrence of the end user to ensure that new equipment meets operational needs, and (3) conduct a cost-benefit analysis to inform any acquisition decisions. In our past work on the GNDA, we recommended that DHS develop an overarching strategic plan to guide the development of the GDNA, as well as a strategic plan for the domestic part of the global nuclear detection strategy. DHS took action on these recommendations and, in December 2010, it issued the interagency GNDA strategic plan. We reported, in July 2011, that the GNDA strategic plan addressed several of the aspects of our prior recommendations but did not (1) identify funding necessary to achieve plan objectives or (2) employ monitoring mechanisms to determine progress and identify needed improvements. In April 2012, DHS issued its GNDA implementation plan, which addresses the remaining aspects of our recommendations by identifying funding dedicated to plan objectives and employing monitoring mechanisms to assess progress in meeting those objectives. However, in both the GNDA strategic plan ...
Date: July 26, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS's Program to Procure and Deploy Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors Is Likely to Exceed the Department's Previous Cost Estimates

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, combating terrorism has been one of the nation's highest priorities. As part of that effort, preventing nuclear and radioactive material from being smuggled into the United States--perhaps to be used by terrorists in a nuclear weapon or in a radiological dispersal device (a "dirty bomb")--has become a key national security objective. On April 15, 2005, the president directed the establishment, within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), whose duties include acquiring and supporting the deployment of radiation detection equipment. In October 2006, Congress enacted the SAFE Port Act, which made DNDO responsible for the development, testing, acquisition and deployment of a system to detect radiation at U.S. ports of entry. An important component of this system is the deployment of radiation portal monitors, large stationary detectors through which cargo containers and trucks pass as they enter the United States. Prior to DNDO's creation, another DHS agency--U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)--managed programs for deployment of radiation detection equipment. In 2002, CBP began the radiation portal monitor project, deploying radiation detection equipment at U.S. ports of entry. This program initially deployed portal monitors, known as polyvinyl toluene monitors (PVT), and handheld detection technologies, such as radioactive isotope identification devices (RIID). CBP also established a system of standard operating procedures to guide its officers in the use of this equipment. Current procedures include conducting primary inspections with PVTs to detect the presence of radioactivity, and secondary inspections with PVTs and RIIDs to confirm and identify the source and determine whether it constitutes a threat. After its creation, DNDO assumed responsibility for the development, testing, and deployment of radiation detection equipment, while CBP maintained its role of ...
Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Inadequate Communication and Oversight Hampered DHS Efforts to Develop an Advanced Radiography System to Detect Nuclear Materials

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is charged with developing and acquiring equipment to detect nuclear and radiological materials to support federal efforts to combat nuclear smuggling. Also within DHS, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the lead for operating systems to detect nuclear and radiological materials entering the country at U.S. ports of entry. In 2005, DNDO began working on the cargo advanced automated radiography system (CAARS) intending that it be used by CBP to detect certain nuclear materials in vehicles and containers at U.S. ports of entry. However, in 2007 DNDO decided to cancel the acquisition phase of the program and convert it to a research and development program. GAO was asked to examine events that led to DNDO's decision to cancel the acquisition phase of the program and provide lessons learned from DNDO's experience. This statement is based on prior GAO reports from March 2006 through July 2010 and ongoing work reviewing DHS efforts to develop radiography technology. For ongoing work, GAO reviewed CAARS planning documents and interviewed DHS, DNDO, and CBP officials. GAO provided a draft of the information in this testimony to DHS and component agencies, which provided technical comments and which were incorporated as appropriate."
Date: September 15, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS has Developed a Strategic Plan for its Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, but Gaps Remain

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our past work examining the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) progress and efforts in planning, developing, and deploying its global nuclear detection architecture (GNDA). The overall mission of the GNDA is to use an integrated system of radiation detection equipment and interdiction activities to combat nuclear smuggling in foreign countries, at the U.S. border, and inside the United States. Terrorists smuggling nuclear or radiological material into the United States could use these materials to make an improvised nuclear device or a radiological dispersal device (also called a "dirty bomb"). The detonation of a nuclear device in an urban setting could cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and devastate buildings and physical infrastructure for miles. While not as damaging, a radiological dispersal device could nonetheless cause hundreds of millions of dollars in socioeconomic costs as a large part of a city would have to be evacuated--and possibly remain inaccessible--until an extensive radiological decontamination effort was completed. Accordingly, the GNDA remains our country's principal strategy in protecting the homeland from the consequences of nuclear terrorism. The GNDA is a multi-departmental effort coordinated by DHS's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). DNDO is also responsible for developing, acquiring, and deploying radiation detection equipment to support the efforts of DHS and other federal agencies. Federal efforts to combat nuclear smuggling have largely focused on established ports of entry, such as seaports and land border crossings. However, DNDO has also been examining nuclear detection strategies along other potential pathways and has identified several gaps in the GNDA, including (1) land border areas between ports of entry into the United States; (2) international general aviation; and (3) small maritime craft, such as recreational boats and commercial fishing vessels. Developing strategies, technologies, and ...
Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS's Phase 3 Test Report on Advanced Portal Monitors Does Not Fully Disclose the Limitations of the Test Results

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are part of the U.S. defense against such threats. In 2007, Congress required that funds for new advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors could not be spent until the Secretary of DHS certified that these machines represented a significant increase in operational effectiveness over currently deployed portal monitors. In addition to other tests, DNDO conducted the Phase 3 tests on ASPs to identify areas in which the ASPs needed improvement. GAO was asked to assess (1) the degree to which the Phase 3 test report accurately depicts the test results and (2) the appropriateness of using the Phase 3 test results to determine whether ASPs represent a significant improvement over current radiation detection equipment. GAO also agreed to provide its observations on special tests conducted by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)."
Date: September 30, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Has Made Progress Deploying Radiation Detection Equipment at U.S. Ports-of-Entry, but Concerns Remain

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Preventing radioactive material from being smuggled into the United States is a key national security objective. To help address this threat, in October 2002, DHS began deploying radiation detection equipment at U.S. ports-of-entry. This report reviews recent progress DHS has made (1) deploying radiation detection equipment, (2) using radiation detection equipment, (3) improving the capabilities and testing of this equipment, and (4) increasing cooperation between DHS and other federal agencies in conducting radiation detection programs."
Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Corruption, Maintenance, and Coordination Problems Challenge U.S. Efforts to Provide Radiation Detection Equipment to Other Countries

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, between 1993 and 2004, there were 662 confirmed cases of illicit trafficking in nuclear and radiological materials. Three U.S. agencies, the Departments of Energy (DOE), Defense (DOD), and State (State), have programs that provide radiation detection equipment and training to border security personnel in other countries. GAO examined the (1) progress U.S. programs have made in providing radiation detection equipment to foreign governments, including the current and expected costs of these programs; (2) challenges U.S. programs face in this effort; and (3) steps being taken to coordinate U.S. efforts to combat nuclear smuggling in other countries."
Date: March 14, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS Improved Testing of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors, but Preliminary Results Show Limits of the New Technology

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is testing new advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) radiation detection monitors. DNDO expects ASPs to reduce both the risk of missed threats and the rate of innocent alarms, which DNDO considers to be key limitations of radiation detection equipment currently used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at U.S. ports of entry. Congress has required that the Secretary of DHS certify that ASPs provide a significant increase in operational effectiveness before obligating funds for full-scale procurement. GAO was asked to review (1) the degree to which DHS's criteria for a significant increase in operational effectiveness address the limitations of existing radiation detection equipment, (2) the rigor of ASP testing and preliminary test results, and (3) the ASP test schedule. GAO reviewed the DHS criteria, analyzed test plans, and interviewed DHS officials."
Date: May 21, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Megaports Initiative Faces Funding and Sustainability Challenges

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As of August 2012, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) had completed 42 of 100 planned Megaports projects in 31 countries and, as of December 2011, NNSA had spent about $850 million on the Megaports Initiative (Initiative). NNSA’s Initiative has equipped these seaports with radiation detection equipment, established training programs for foreign personnel, and created a sustainability program to help countries operate and maintain the equipment. However, the administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal would reduce the Initiative’s budget by about 85 percent, and NNSA plans to shift the Initiative’s focus from establishing new Megaports to sustaining existing ones. As a result, NNSA has suspended ongoing negotiations and cancelled planned deployments of equipment in five countries."
Date: October 31, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS's Decision to Procure and Deploy the Next Generation of Radiation Detection Equipment Is Not Supported by Its Cost-Benefit Analysis

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in our national defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored R&D and testing activities to develop a "next generation" portal monitor, known as the advanced spectroscopic portal monitor. However, each one costs 6 times more than a current portal monitor. In March 2006, we recommended that DHS conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the new portal monitors are worth the additional cost. In June 2006, DHS issued its analysis. In October 2006, we issued our report that assessed the DHS study. GAO's statement, based on our October 2006 report, addresses whether DHS's cost-benefit analysis provides an adequate basis for its decision to purchase and deploy the next generation portal monitors."
Date: March 14, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combating Nuclear Smuggling: DHS's Cost-Benefit Analysis to Support the Purchase of New Radiation Detection Portal Monitors Was Not Based on Available Performance Data and Did Not Fully Evaluate All the Monitors' Costs and Benefits

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, combating terrorism has been one of the nation's highest priorities. As part of that effort, preventing nuclear and radioactive material from being smuggled into the United States--perhaps to be used by terrorists in a nuclear weapon or in a radiological dispersal device (a "dirty bomb")--has become a key national security objective. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for providing radiation detection capabilities at U.S. ports-of-entry. Until April 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) under DHS managed this program. However, on April 15, 2005, the president directed the establishment, within DHS, of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), whose duties include acquiring and supporting the deployment of radiation detection equipment. CBP continues its traditional screening function at ports-of-entry to interdict dangerous nuclear and radiological materials through the use of radiation detection equipment, including portal monitors. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), one of the Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratories, manages the deployment of radiation portal monitors for DHS. Current portal monitors, which cost about $55,000 per monitor, detect the presence of radiation, but cannot distinguish between harmless radiological materials, such as naturally occurring radiological material in some ceramic tile, and dangerous nuclear materials, such as highly enriched uranium (HEU). CBP officers also use radioactive isotope identification devices (RIIDs), which are handheld devices designed to identity different types of radioactive material, such as radioactive material used in medicine or industry, a naturally occurring source of radiation, or weapons-grade material. These devices have limitations in their ability to detect and identify nuclear material. DHS would like to improve the capabilities of its radiation detection equipment in order to better distinguish between different types of nuclear and radiological materials. As a ...
Date: October 17, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department