Recent Developments in Sealed Source Recovery and Management
M. W. Pearson
At the 2002 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting, members of our staff presented papers both explaining the evolution of the sealed source stockpile existing within the United States and suggesting the potential risks associated with use of these sources for purposes other than those intended. Since this meeting, the vulnerability associated with the existence of these sources at their current locations has been evaluated and subsequently recognized at levels of government possessing both the authority and resources to assist in reducing the vulnerability. It is also assumed that this is the result of a number of communications involving various agencies considered a part of our intelligence community, our legislative representatives, the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and professional organizations such as the American Nuclear Society and The Health Physics Society. It is assumed that other organizations and agencies, such as the CRCPD, communicated their concerns as well. The OSR Project staff thus conveys our appreciation to all involved, at whatever levels, and compliments you on the support you have provided. Whatever the cause, the OSR Project has recently received additional funding through the FY02 Supplemental Appropriations Act, and has been charged with accelerated recovery of excess and unwanted sources known to exist as of September 2002. The target schedule for completion of this accelerated recovery is March of 2004. Recovery schedules and planning have been initiated. The influx of additional funding will have a major impact on the ability of the project staff to reduce vulnerabilities, thus reducing risks to public health and safety. However, as is usually the case, throwing money at a problem is not always the answer and does not always solve the existing problem.
This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Operational Health Physics Aspects/Impacts of Homeland Defense Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.