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GAO Employees Able to Purchase Nuclear Material with Fake Companies, Forged Licenses

Airman 1st Class Bryan Chang and Senior Airmen Amanda McCollum and Justin Nazari, all Air National Guard emergency managers, search for radioactive material during a Global Dragon training event at the Guardian Center of Georgia on March 15, 2015. (New York Air National Guard / Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy / released).
Airman 1st Class Bryan Chang and Senior Airmen Amanda McCollum and Justin Nazari, all Air National Guard emergency managers, search for radioactive material during a Global Dragon training event at the Guardian Center of Georgia on March 15, 2015. (New York Air National Guard / Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy / released).

Late last year, government employees forged a copy of a license to buy hazardous, radioactive material. They created shell companies, then placed orders, generated invoices and paid two U.S. based vendors.

The scheme worked. The employees successfully had the material shipped, complete with radioactive stickers on the side, then confirmed delivery.

But the workers were actually investigators from the Government Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog, and they were testing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ability to regulate the sale and procurement of dangerous materials.

The act, and a subsequent report from the GAO, alarmed Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., who is now calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to overhaul its licensing system as a way to avoid a national security disaster.

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