Gaps Found In U.S. Nuclear Smuggling Defenses (+video)

Photo Credit: WNDThe Department of Homeland Security has serious gaps in screening for radiation at 22 ports through which the largest volume of container cargo enters the United States, a new report reveals, because monitors which are “utilized infrequently or not utilized at all.”

DHS “component agencies do not fully coordinate or certainly manage the radiation portal monitor program to insure effective and efficient operations,” according to a report from the DHS Office of the Inspector General.

A component of DHS, the Customs and Border Protection, isn’t using all of the monitors and isn’t evaluating “changes in the screening environment at seaports to relocate radiation portal monitors as necessary,” the report said.

The report also revealed a serious lack of coordination of two agencies within DHS which are involved in radiation detection. Their lack of coordination also may be a symptom of a lack of monitoring of cargo containers at the vital entry ports.

In this regard, the OIG report said that the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and the CBP do not “accurately track and monitor their inventory of radiation portal monitors. Given the radiation portal monitors’ limited life and the lack of funding for new monitors, CBP and DNDO should better coordinate to fully utilize, promptly relocate and properly maintain inventory to best use resources and to continue screening of all containerized cargo entering U.S. seaports.”

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