Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Additional Actions Needed to Ensure Adequate Testing of Next Generation Radiation Detection Equipment Statement of Gene Aloise, Director Natural Resources and Environment Keith Rhodes, Chief Technologist, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives [open pdf - 94KB]
"The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is responsible for addressing the threat of nuclear smuggling. Radiation detection portal monitors are key elements in our national defenses against such threats. DHS has sponsored testing to develop new monitors, known as advanced spectroscopic portal (ASP) monitors. In March 2006, GAO recommended that DNDO conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the new portal monitors were worth the additional cost. In June 2006, DNDO issued its analysis. In October 2006, GAO concluded that DNDO did not provide a sound analytical basis for its decision to purchase and deploy ASP technology and recommended further testing of ASPs. DNDO conducted this ASP testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) between February and March 2007. GAO's statement addresses the test methods DNDO used to demonstrate the performance capabilities of the ASPs and whether the NTS test results should be relied upon to make a full-scale production decision. GAO recommends that, among other things, the Secretary of Homeland Security delay a full-scale production decision of ASPs until all relevant studies and tests have been completed, and determine in cooperation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP), the Department of Energy (DOE), and independent reviewers, whether additional testing is needed."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/