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NCJ Number: 62917 Find in a Library
Title: POSSIBILITY OF BLACKMAIL OR OTHER CRIMINAL ACTS BY THE USE OF ATOMIC OR BIOCHEMICAL MATERIALS
Journal: AUSTRALIAN POLICE COLLEGE JOURNAL  Dated:(1976)  Pages:31-40
Author(s): G D WOODS
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: AN EXAMINATION OF THE NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY AND THE SECURITY OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARSENALS INDICATES THAT DETERMINED CRIMINALS OR TERRORISTS COULD OBTAIN AND USE RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS FOR ILLEGAL PURPOSES.
Abstract: BECAUSE MANY COUNTRIES, SUCH AS AUSTRALIA, HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR A NUCLEAR INDUSTRY, THESE COUNTRIES WILL LIKELY DEVELOP THEIR NUCLEAR POWER POTENTIAL AS OIL PRICES INCREASE. HOWEVER, THE GROWING USE OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS CREATES AN INCREASED POSSIBILITY FOR THE THEFT OF URANIUM AND PLUTONIUM BY CRIMINALS. IF MANY NATIONS BEGIN USING ATOMIC POWER, THEN THE CHANCE OF ALTERING THE ENVIRONMENT WITH POLLUTION AND WASTE PRODUCTS IS GREAT. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, SOLUTIONS TO THE NUCLEAR WASTE PROBLEM USUALLY HAVE BEEN IMPRACTICAL AND HAZARDOUS, AND PROPOSALS FOR THE PREVENTION OF THEFT OF ATOMIC WEAPONS AND MATERIALS ARE UNREASONABLY RESTRICTIVE OF CIVIL LIBERTIES OR INADEQUATE TO DETER PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS. DISAFFECTED GROUPS AS THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY AND THE PALESTINIANS, CANNOT BE THREATENED WITH RETALIATION SUFFICIENT TO DETER THEIR USING STOLEN ATOMIC WEAPONS, AND ACCESS TO SUCH MATERIALS IS NOT ADEQUATELY DIFFICULT. LARGE AMOUNTS OF NUCLEAR FUEL COULD BE DIVERTED FROM THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY DURING THE MATERIAL'S TRANSPORTATION, FOR EXAMPLE. EVEN A FEW OUNCES OF THIS RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL COULD BE USED AS A LETHAL POISON IF DISPERSED BY AIRCRAFT OR AEROSOL. GOVERNMENTS COULD RESPOND TO SUCH THREATS OF NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL BY SURRENDERING TO TERRORISTS DEMANDS OR BY EVACUATING POSSIBLE TARGETS AND REFUSING THE DEMANDS. ACCEPTANCE OF THE DEMANDS, HOWEVER, WOULD HELP AVOID NUCLEAR DISASTE IRONICALLY, THOSE GROUPS WHO WOULD PRESENT THE EASILY-MET DEMANDS, SUCH AS THE DELIVERY OF MONEY, WOULD PROBABLY BE ORGANIZED CRIMINAL GROUPS, RATHER THAN POLITICAL TERRORISTS GROUPS; THE LATTER PROBABLY WOULD MAKE IMPRACTICAL DEMANDS. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (TWK)
Index Term(s): Crisis management; Nuclear energy; Nuclear terrorism; Organized crime; Professional criminals; Radioactive material
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62917

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