Radioactive Material Security in Health Care and Biomedical Research — Revisited


E. L. McGuire, G. E. Williams, E. M. Leidholdt, Jr.


Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities use radioactive materials for health care and biomedical research. Previously, we reported results of a reassessment of the security of radioactive materials and recommendations for future security efforts. A primary recommendation was to evaluate radioactive materials from a risk perspective and use security measures commensurate with risk. We concluded current security measures are likely adequate for the risks in most nuclear medicine and biomedical research laboratories. We proposed more consultation with police or security experts to help determine whether additional security measures are warranted. We recommended that security evaluations consider both the physical and personnel security, that training of staff with unescorted access to higher-risk radioactive material emphasize security issues, and disposal of higher-risk materials not likely to be used. This paper reports the results of 18 months of regulatory oversight for security at VA facilities and identifies current recommendations for security including defining a basic three-step approach for vulnerability assessments, focusing on security during routine inspections, evaluating the feasibility of two delay methods for sealed sources in storage, and disposing of disused sources.


This abstract was presented at the 38th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Materials Control and Security: Risk Assessment, Handling, and Detection", Materials Control and Security in University and Medical Facilities Session, 2/13/2005 - 2/16/2005, held in New Orleans, LA.

Index of Midyear Meeting Abstracts