Eleven Years After The Terrorist Attacks Fed Study Warns

Eleven years afterwards the agitator attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Government Accountability Office has appear a address adage that hospitals accept been behindhand in accepting the radioactive abstracts they use to amusement blight patients, potentially putting the abstracts in the easily of terrorists who could use them to accomplish a bedraggled bomb.

While authorities accept articular no specific artifice or ambition for this 11th ceremony of 9/11, the GAO, the analytic arm of the U.S. Congress, has warned Congress about lapses in hospitals, abounding of which
commonly use accessories absolute these radioactive materials.

"Although we apprehend how important these accessories and accessories are, they accept to be secured," Gene Aloise, administrator of civic assets and ambiance at the GAO, said.

Nearly four out of bristles hospitals beyond the country accept bootless to put in abode safeguards to defended radiological actual that could be acclimated in a bedraggled bomb, according to the report, which identifies added than 1,500 hospitals as accepting high-risk radiological sources. Only 321 of these medical accessories accept set up aegis upgrades, according to the GAO review, which begin some broad lapses of aegis in 26 hospitals.

At one facility, for example, a accessory absolute potentially baleful radioactive cesium was stored abaft a aperture with a aggregate lock -- but the aggregate was accounting on the aperture frame.

At another, a apparatus absolute about 2,000 curies of cesium-13 was stored aloof bottomward the anteroom from a loading berth abreast an apart window.

At a third, at atomic 500 bodies had abandoned admission to radiological materials.

"In the easily of terrorists," these [radioactive materials] could be acclimated to aftermath a simple and awkward but potentially alarming weapon," the GAO says.

According to the report, the Civic Nuclear Aegis Administration spent $105 actor to complete aegis upgrades at 321 of added than 1,500 hospitals and medical accessories that were articular as accepting high-risk radiological sources. The upgrades accommodate aegis cameras, iris scanners, motion detectors and alter alarms.

But these upgrades are not accepted to be completed until 2025, so until then, abounding hospitals and medical centers abide vulnerable, the GAO says.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission challenged the GAO's findings, adage that the bureau and its ally are acute about attention hospitals and medical facilities, and had developed layers of aegis to do so.

The American Hospital Association has responded to the report, adage it is anxiously reviewing the GAO's recommendations.

"Since September 11, hospitals beyond the country accept been advance their adversity affairs to accommodated today's new threats. Hospitals chase the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's regulations on how to defended radiological materials. In addition, the Joint Commission, which accredits best hospitals, requires hospitals to ensure the assurance and aegis of radioactive materials," the AHA said in a statement.

"Hospitals will anxiously abstraction the GAO recommendations. America's hospitals are committed to alive with NRC to strengthen aegis and assure their community." 

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