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Study Says Medical Facilities Could Give Access to Radioactive Materials for Dirty Bombs
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- A study with the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO shows many hospitals are not consistently securing radioactive materials. Officials worry this gives potential terrorists easy access to materials that could be used to create "dirty bombs."
"We need to start thinking about security particularly after the events of 9/11," said Mark Gaffigan, Managing Director for Natural Resources and Environmental Issues for GAO, "and this includes places we may not have traditionally thought about like hospitals."
The study found 1502 medical facilities across the country contain high-risk radioactive materials. Twelve of these facilities are in Oklahoma, but officials at the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says Oklahomans should not be alarmed.
"When we inspect them, we usually find that they're in full compliance," said Mike Broderick, Environmental Program Manager for the DEQ.
Broderick says medical facilities in Oklahoma have several security measures in place to limit access to high-risk radioactive materials. Broderick says many facilities require extensive background checks, fingerprinting, alarms, and physical security.
"We think we have a good, reasonable, and effective program," he said.
Gaffigan says GAO wants to see more agencies like DEQ draft more specific requirements for different types of medical facilities.
"The general requirements broadly talk about protect the material, ensure that folks have limited access," Gaffigan said, "we think they can go a bit further than that."
Posted: Thursday, September 13 2012, 10:35 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Search continues in creek for missing Okla. teen
May 25, 2013 22:59 GMT
KINGFISHER, Okla. (AP) -- Authorities continue to search for a Kingfisher teenager who disappeared after jumping into Uncle John Creek.
Police say 17-year-old Taylor Faine jumped into the creek Thursday and did not resurface. Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter told The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/10s2oB6 ) on Saturday that manmade dams have been built in hopes of finding Faine's body.
Authorities say Faine was swimming with friends in an area where no swimming signs are in place because of dangerous currents in the creek.
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