Equipment aging at federal radiological response center


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The federal government’s multiagency center that is on call to respond to radiological incidents has issues with aging equipment, says a recent report from the Energy Department inspector general.

According to Fierce Homeland Security, the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center is responsible for monitoring the environment after radiological or nuclear incidents in the United States. While the National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, manages the center, it also includes representatives from the Homeland Security, Defense, and Health and Human Services departments, among others.

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Numerous issues with the center’s equipment turned up in the IG’s inspection. For instance, the report released Aug. 28 says it was hard to find repair parts for communication devices – which the center uses to transmit radiological data from remote locations – as they were approaching the end of their established lifecycle. Auditors tested five of them, and one failed and had to be replaced.