Printer Friendly

Securing Nuclear Weapons. (Security Beat).

The threat of nuclear terrorism is urgent enough that the United States government ought to be taking immediate steps to address it, according to a report by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Matthew Bunn, an author of "Securing Nuclear Weapons and Materials: Seven Steps for Immediate Action," noted that, "In all the second guessing about what people knew and should have done before September 11, it became clear that most of the warnings were not specific enough to have prevented the action. Whereas in the nuclear era, we do have information, and we know where our vulnerabilities are.

"We know that Bin Laden sees the acquiring of weapons of mass destruction as a religious duty. There is court testimony from al Qaeda operatives about their efforts to buy highly enriched uranium, and there is evidence of other attempts to buy nuclear materials from the former Soviet Union.

"We have made communications intercepts, and we have seized from Al Qaeda safe houses, crude nuclear weapons designs. This proves we need to move as fast as we can to secure not only our own nuclear weapons, and also nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union and around the world."

A global policy is needed, said Bunn, "to carry out rapid security upgrades where the material needs to remain, to help with decommissioning and getting rid of irradiated material."

The poster child for this kind of effort is the Research Reactor that had highly enriched uranium, in the former soviet Republic of Georgia, Bunn said. At one point, there was so little security available at this installation that it was learned that personnel were "guarding the installation with sticks and garden rakes. Through work with Georgia, Britain, and the United States, a trilateral effort to remove the material" took place. The U.S. provided funding, and the British provided the nuclear waste processing plants. The plan was called Project Auburn Endeavor.
COPYRIGHT 2002 National Defense Industrial Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Book, Elizabeth G.
Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Previous Article:Dealing with 'dirty bomb' threats. (Security Beat).
Next Article:Explosives detection technology. (Security Beat).

Related Articles
The New Agenda Coalition for Nuclear Abolition.
Preventing a terrorist mushroom cloud. (Up Front).
The bomb is back: what can be done about the growing nuclear threat?....
The New Clear Threat. (Essay).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |