RealNews

Study: Nuclear stockpiles vulnerable

U.S. efforts to help Russia and other nations secure and destroy poorly protected nuclear material and warheads are moving too slowly to address the threat that those stockpiles could be tapped by terrorists or hostile states, a new study says. In Russia, about 37% of ”potentially vulnerable” nuclear material has gotten U.S.-funded security upgrades, such as new alarm systems, fences and surveillance equipment, the study says. It also notes that many civilian reactors using weapons-usable fuel in former Soviet states and developing countries are ”dangerously insecure.” The study, done by Harvard University researchers, contends that President Bush has not fulfilled a promise that keeping weapons of mass destruction from terrorists would be his ”highest priority.” ”There remains an enormous gap between the seriousness and urgency of the threat, and the scope and pace of the U.S. and the international response,” it says. Total spending on U.S. programs to control the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is about $1 billion a year, roughly one-third of 1% of the defense budget. Full Story

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