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NCJ Number: 62847 Find in a Library
Title: NUCLEAR TERRORISM (FROM STUDIES IN NUCLEAR TERRORISM 1979, BY AUGUSTUS R NORTON AND MARTIN H GREENBERG - SEE NCJ-62842)
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: G K Hall
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: G K Hall
Boston, MA 02111
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTIES ARE INVOLVED IN THE DESIGNING, PLANNING, AND CONSTRUCTING OF A CLANDESTINE NUCLEAR WEAPON FROM REACTOR GRADE MATERIALS, BUT TERRORISTIC SABOTAGE OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES IS RELATIVELY EASY.
Abstract: A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF NUCLEAR POWER SPONSORED BY THE FORD FOUNDATION REVEALS THAT THE WIDESPREAD DEVELOPMENT OF CIVILIAN NUCLEAR POWER PROVIDES ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR TERRORISTS TO USE ATOMIC ENERGY AS A WEAPON. REVOLUTIONARIES OR CRIMINALS OBTAINING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS COULD FASHION NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES, OR THEY COULD USE A REACTOR AS A RADIATION WEAPON. TERRORISTS MIGHT EXPLOIT THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY BECAUSE OF THE MYSTIQUE WHICH SURROUNDS ATOMIC ENERGY. WHETHER TERRORISTS ARE ACTUALLY IN A POSITION TO CARRY OUT THREATS SEEMS LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE PLAUSIBILITY OF THREAT. A GROUP MIGHT ACHIEVE ITS OBJECTIVES WITH A CREDIBLE HOAX. AN EXAMINATION OF PREVIOUS ATTACKS AND THREATS AGAINST NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS INDICATES THAT SECURITY SYSTEMS ARE INADEQUATE TO MEET THE POTENTIAL THREAT OF TERRORISM. MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN SECURITY AT THE LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS NEED TO BE CAREFULLY DEVELOPED AND VIGOROUSLY CARRIED OUT. THE SECURITY OF FISSIONABLE MATERIALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE MAY ONLY COMPEL TERRORISTS TO STEAL PLUTONIUM OR URANIUM FROM OTHER AREAS. ALTHOUGH A SUCCESSFUL WEAPON MADE FROM STOLEN REACTOR FUEL IS CONSTRUCTED ONLY BY A HIGHLY-SKILLED INDIVIDUAL, A GROUP WHICH WANTED TO THREATEN OR CAUSE WIDESPREAD DAMAGE COULD SEIZE A REACTOR AND SUFFICIENTLY DAMAGE IT TO PRECIPITATE A MELTDOWN AND RADIATION RELEASE. SECURITY MEASURES MAY DETER TERRORISTS, BUT STRINGENT MEASURES COULD SERIOUSLY AFFECT THE CIVIL LIBERTIES OF EMPLOYEES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Facility security; Nuclear energy; Nuclear terrorism; Radioactive material; Terrorist tactics
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62847

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