Thursday, February 10, 2005
When you order from the A.Q. Khan website, always check the "2-day express" box, even if you qualify for free shipping:
A Halliburton Co. shipment of radioactive material went missing in October but the company didn't alert government authorities until this week, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said Thursday.We'd love to hear the rest of that last sentence. Targeted by the NRC? Or targeted by dirty-bomb makers?
The material - two sources of the element americium, used in oil well exploration - was found intact Wednesday in Boston after an intense search by federal authorities. NRC and Halliburton officials say the public never was in danger.
The americium was being shipped from Russia to Houston, according to a report filed with the NRC by Halliburton.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said Halliburton did not notify the agency about the missing material until Tuesday. Depending on the material, government rules require notification either immediately or within 30 days.
"The focus through today was on trying to find the material," Sheehan said. "We're going to be pressing them why the notification was not more timely."
Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall blamed the company's shipper, saying it never alerted the Texas-based energy company that the material was missing until Tuesday. Halliburton then immediately contacted the NRC, she said.
She said Halliburton contacted the shipping company "multiple times" about the shipment and was told it was en route to Houston. She declined to identify the company on grounds that Halliburton did not want its shipments targeted.