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The Nation : NRC Lax in Licensing Procedures, GAO Report Says

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants licenses for handling radioactive material without verifying claims or inspecting facilities, making it “overly vulnerable to dishonest or careless applicants,” a congressional report said. The General Accounting Office said it discovered a series of “continuing and sometimes chronic problems” with the way the NRC hands out licenses and oversees businesses after they are licensed. “NRC usually does not verify license application information, visit the facility before granting a license or have specific detailed criteria for its license reviewers to determine when a denial is warranted,” the GAO report said. “As a result, NRC is overly vulnerable to dishonest or careless applicants. All of these weaknesses or problems increase the public’s risk of exposure.” Rep. Edward F. Feighan (D-Ohio) had asked for the GAO investigation after the accidental spill of radioactive material that had been smuggled onto Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, for disposal by a private citizen.


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