NRC violation notice to Walter Reed
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a notice of violation, but not a fine, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center after investigators found that two packages of radioactive material sat under a counter in the main lobby of the hospital for 44 hours last spring.
The packages were delivered May 1 to the hospital's concierge, who stored them under the counter, according to the NRC. The intended recipient, the hospital's administrative officer, didn't locate the package until the next Monday, two days later. While patients and staff could have been exposed to elevated radiation, there were no reports of anyone being harmed.
Officials determined that radiation levels at the concierge desk were 2 millirems an hour, which exceeds allowable limits. The average American is exposed to 620 millirems a year. The violation follows a similar lapse there last year.
-- Christian Davenport
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