CREATORU.S. Government Accountability Office
TITLECombating Nuclear Terrorism: Actions Needed to Better Prepare to Recover from Possible Attacks Using Radiological or Nuclear Materials
DATE ACCESSED11 September 2017

This report, prepared by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), assesses United States’ national disaster recovery strategy as of January 2010, specifically with respect to recovery from possible attacks using radiological or nuclear materials. The report delineates the plans the U.S. government was assembling and evaluates the government’s capacity to enact such plans and to provide feedback. The report critiques the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for lack of developing a comprehensive system of emergency management. In particular, the GAO found the biggest problems to be a lack of federal guidance to states and the fact that most major cities and states would need extensive federal help in order to recover from a disaster. The report also found that it is unclear if the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have sufficient capability to aid in the cleanup of radiation-contaminated areas. The GAO concludes with a recommendation for FEMA to create a strategy for national recovery that includes practice through national exercises. Several appendices supplement the report, including details regarding the UK's recovery exercises, sample data sheets, and information on recovery handbooks.

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