Congressional auditors are telling the Energy Department it should collaborate more with other key agencies on developing ways to secure radiological items.
The department’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration in 2012 launched a project aimed at encouraging the highest standards around the world in the protection of civilian-sector radiological sources that might be stolen and used by terrorists to build a so-called “dirty bomb.”
The nuclear agency set up two pilot sites for the “radiological security zone” project — one in Peru and another in Mexico — but neglected “to complete some important planning and evaluation steps,” the Government Accountability Office concluded in a Thursday report.
NNSA officials failed to seek input from “key stakeholders” with relevant expertise, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, State Department and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, GAO officials found.
“By not following the professional practice of early engagement of key stakeholders, NNSA may have missed opportunities to obtain and leverage the expertise, perspectives, and resources of these agencies,” the report states.
For instance, the agency missed out on learning from the U.N. nuclear watchdog organization what lessons it has learned from years spent attempting to improve regional radiological security practices.
In the event the nuclear agency expands its radiological security zone initiative, officials should seek out other agencies’ expertise and develop a concrete plan for evaluating the efficacy of the various zones, the report said.
Congress requested the GAO study in the fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization Act.
What We're Following See More »
"Nearly half of American voters who support either Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump for the White House said they will mainly be trying to block the other side from winning, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday." When Trump supporters were asked to give their primary reason for supporting him, 47% said to block Clinton from winning. In almost a mirror image, 46% of Clinton supporters said they were primarily out to thwart Trump.
"Like Donald Trump himself, the Trump campaign’s new national finance chairman has a long history of contributing to Democrats—including Hillary Clinton. Private investor Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s new campaign fundraising guru, has contributed more than $120,000" to candidates since 1995, about half of which has gone to Democrats.
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"