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Serbia Lacks Funds, Space to Secure Nuclear Waste Materials

Nations reported 2,164 cases of smuggling or other incidents involving nuclear and radioactive substances between January 1993 and last December,

Aug. 22, 2012

Serbia lacks both the financial resources and the facility space to adequately safeguard all of the its radioactive materials, the Serbian news site Politika reported last week.

Nuclear Facilities of Serbia does not have government funding to meet its mandate of overseeing atomic efforts in the nation. Additionally, two principal sites for holding radioactive waste, Hangers 1 and 2, are completely packed and cannot take in new material, according to NOS Executive Director Jadranka Djuricic.

Presently, industrial and medical sector radioactive waste is stored in “the generator facilities, but we do not know how long this situation can continue,” Djuricic said. Her agency has not yet been given authorization to begin operating the recently constructed Hanger 3.

“NOS has handed over to the Agency for Protection Against Ionizing Radiation and Nuclear Security of Serbia all possible papers for a license for Hanger 3,” the executive director said. “This is necessary, because even today there are no official notes pertaining to the storage of radioactive waste from the former Yugoslavia in Hanger 1.”

Added Nuclear Facilities of Serbia management board Chairman Uranija Kozmidis-Luburic: “Worst of all is that we can come across all kinds of surprises in Hanger 1.”

As there are not proper records of the kind and quantity of radioactive waste in the hangers, there is the chance they might hold substances such as cobalt 60 or cesium 137 —  radioactive isotopes that have many civilian uses but could also be used in a radiological “dirty bomb.”

http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/serbia-lacks-funds-facilities-secure-nuclear-materials/

IAEA Security Official Seeks More

Money to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Aug. 20, 2012

By Chris Schneidmiller

Global Security Newswire

WASHINGTON – The International Atomic Energy Agency’s top nuclear security official said his operation must have more money and people if it is to meet nations’ growing demand for help in ensuring their atomic facilities are protected against terrorism.

[…]

Nations reported 2,164 cases of smuggling or other incidents involving nuclear and radioactive substances between January 1993 and last December, according to the IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database. There were 16 cases of “unauthorized possession” of nuclear weapon-usable highly enriched uranium or plutonium…

[…]

The office in its current spending year received more than $5.5 million from the core IAEA budget and another $24.6 million in voluntary “extrabudgetary” support from agency member nations. Mrabit acknowledged that the funding is a major boost from the service’s inception in 2002, when its total budget was slightly less than $10 million.

He argued, though, that growing need for his office’s services requires greater resources — $6 million to $12 million per year, and ideally adding five to 10 personnel to its staff of about 60.

As an example of the need, he said the office has only one specialist to manage a large number of requests from nations in helping to establish some level of capacity in nuclear forensics – the ability to determine the point of origin of atomic material that might be seized from smugglers or used in an act of terrorism.

[….]

http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/iaea-security-chief-seeks-more-money-prevent-nuclear-terrorism/

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September 27, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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