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Huge danger of nuclear terrorism, but small chance of international action to prevent it

 a “dirty bomb”, where conventional explosives are used to disperse radiation from a radioactive source, is a “high probability, low consequence act” with more potential to terrorize than cause large loss of life……

next week’s conference in Vienna is open to all members of the 159-nation IAEA, which says it expects officials from some 112 countries as well as 20 organizations

World worried about nuclear terrorism, but little action at talks By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA Jun 24, 2013  (Reuters) – More than 100 states meeting next week will warn of the threat of nuclear terrorism but without deciding on any concrete new steps to counter the danger, a draft ministerial statement showed on Monday.

The document, which member states of the U.N. nuclear agency have been negotiating since March, looked unlikely to satisfy those who advocate stronger international action to ensure that potential nuclear bomb material does not fall into the wrong hands.

Still, Vienna-based diplomats said it would form a basis for future measures to improve global nuclear security, and stressed that the responsibility was mainly national….

Analysts say radical groups could theoretically build a crude but deadly nuclear device if they have the money, technical know-how and the amount of fissile material needed.

They say groups such as al Qaeda have been trying to get the components for such a nuclear bomb. Obtaining weapons-grade fissile material – highly enriched uranium or plutonium – poses their biggest challenge, so keeping it secure is vital, both at civilian and military facilities, experts and officials say.

Experts describe the threat of a crude fissile nuclear bomb – technically difficult to manufacture and requiring hard-to-obtain bomb-grade uranium or plutonium, as a “low probability, high consequence act” – that is, with the potential to cause massive harm to life and property.

On the other hand, a “dirty bomb”, where conventional explosives are used to disperse radiation from a radioactive source, is a “high probability, low consequence act” with more potential to terrorize than cause large loss of life……

AEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Reuters last week that he saw “persistent risks” of nuclear terrorism. The information the U.N. watchdog receives about illicit nuclear-related trafficking may be the “tip of the iceberg”, he said.

The international nuclear security regime “is not sufficiently robust” to protect against this kind of threat, an expert group said in a report this year.

An apple-sized amount of plutonium fashioned into a nuclear bomb and detonated in a highly populated urban area could instantly kill or injure hundreds of thousands of people, the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group said…….

next week’s conference in Vienna is open to all members of the 159-nation IAEA, which says it expects officials from some 112 countries as well as 20 organizations. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/24/us-nuclear-security-terrorism-idUSBRE95N0RR20130624

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June 25, 2013 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war

2 Comments »

  1. At the most basic level, a comprehensive strategy for addressing the threat of nuclear terrorism should be structured around three core objectives: preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or fissile material; stopping terrorists from delivering a nuclear weapon to their intended target should prevention fail; and being prepared to respond as quickly and effectively as possible. and could be euphoria created by the western powers to get rid of nuclear weapons of some specific countries such as Pakistan. as Pakistani suspicions that the US aims to control or limit its weapons programme and favours India.

    Comment by Hasan Ehtisham | June 25, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] Huge danger of nuclear terrorism, but small chance of international action to prevent it (nuclear-news.net) […]

    Pingback by Nuclear Terrorism – the greatest threat to international security? | nuclearpoliticsblog | July 31, 2013 | Reply


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