US Nuclear Safety – A Farce Beyond Measure

From the NRC Website –
The following information was received from the State of California via email:
“Two [2] packages set off radiation alarms at Truckee, CA truck scales. Both packages indicated Cobalt 60. One package read 5.7 mr/hr and the other indicated 6.1 mr/hr using a Victoreen 450 CHP. The packages were enroute to Bed Bath and Beyond in Santa Clara and San Jose.
“The shipment was authorized to proceed in a separate trailer to the Sacramento [the shippers] yard at 8200 Elder Creek Road where the shipment will be secured awaiting RHB inspector to determine the contents and disposition of the material. Surveys were requested of the CHP to document ALARA during this shipment.
“Shipment contained four Model DR9M Dual Ridge Metal Boutique (Kleenex box holders). Contact reading 6.5 mr/hr, One foot 0.85 mr/hr with a Victoreen 450P ion chamber.”
The shipment originated in India with a port of entry at Newark, NJ and was shipped via common carrier to its final destination in California.

Fact is, the “contaminated material” was Cobalt-60, which is a strong source of ionizing Gamma radiation, and for which there was NO REASONABLE CAUSE to be mixed in with the mixed metal from which the consumer products were manufactured.  The Cobalt-60 had been “accidentally” introduced into a batch of mixed metal in India, and was subsequently manufactured into “Kleenex Holders” which were purchased by Bed, Bath, and Beyond in their normal course of business.  We are not faulting BBB – they would have no reasonable cause to question the integrity of said product in regards to the accidental inclusion of radioactive materials.  Read the whole article at the Daily News

The concern here is that, despite spending several hundred billion dollars for port security, hazardous materials detection, and enhanced screening of arriving goods from overseas, not one of the US Government teams or automated systems detected this dangerous material prior to permitting it’s entry into the US as they should have.

These radio-active Kleenex holders made it through all the automated scanners and inspection protocols at the port of Newark, and through road-side weigh-stations and inspections all the way across the US to California, before finally being detected as part of a routine inspection by CA-DOT.

If our Customs and Border Patrol, DNS, and Hazmat Inspection teams cannot do their job to detect a radioactive material which is not being concealed in any way, after being provided with the exorbitant level of funding they have received over the past 11 years, then how can we possibly expect reliable protection from a valid atomic threat which the shipper has gone to any length to conceal through the import process?

Even worse, there is no demonstrable integrity of our southern border – “The Fence” which President Obama claims to have completed is, in fact, only 5% compete, and will not provide adequate border security even when the construction has been completed, regardless of budget.  We, as Americans, are being cheated and lied to by the Federal Government in every possible way, and we need to wake the F**k up and demand full accountability – before a dirty bomb is detonated in a major American city.


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2 Responses to US Nuclear Safety – A Farce Beyond Measure

  1. Steve says:

    Radioactive sources are a serious issue to the scrap and recycling industries. Most scrap metal dealers have very sensitive detectors at the facility entrance and do a very good job of keeping radioactive sources out… because decontamination of the scrapyard or the foundry is a total nightmare. Maybe even more of a nightmare than dealing with the EPA, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    A similar incident occurred in 1984.. this time it involved Cobalt-60 and metal table legs, as well as rebar from Mexico. Similar to the Bed Bath and Beyond incident, discovery was entirely accidental… a wrong turn by a truck driver sent him into Los Alamos National Laboratory, and he tripped their detectors.

    One must wonder how many times sources of this nature work their way through the supply chain and into our homes without anyone noticing… like the ECKO radioactive cheese graters.

  2. fnbrowning says:

    We live in a radioactive world -- humans always have. Radiation is part of our natural environment. We are exposed to radiation from materials in the earth itself, from naturally occurring radon in the air, from outer space, and from inside our own bodies (as a result of the food and water we consume). This radiation is measured in units called millirems (mrems).
    Although radiation may cause cancers at high doses and high dose rates, currently there is no unequivocal PROOF the occurrence of cancer following exposure to low doses and dose rates – below about 10,000 mrem.
    SO -- 6.5 mR/hr of Colbalt-60?? This sad isotope with a half-life of 5.27 years? Too little for too short a time. I wouldn’t have given it a 2nd thought.
    Dirty Bomb? GET REAL! The most damage from a so-called dirty bomb would be from the panic caused by poorly educated, radiation-frightened-superstitious people.
    Please! Learn a little about physics before you write an article about radiation!!

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