RealNews

Campaign launched to stop dirty bombs

The US yesterday announced a global initiative to try to avert the nightmare of a dirty bomb. America’s energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, told the first day of an international conference in Vienna that he was launching a new radiological security partnership with funding of at least $18m (£11.2m). Some $3m was earmarked in the first year for helping poorer countries to track down, log and secure high-risk radioactive sources. He said the US also wanted to inject an extra $15m into promoting cargo control at major world transit hubs, expanding an existing project into the global clampdown on smuggling radioactive material. Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has logged 263 cases of trafficking in radioactive material other than nuclear matter. Mohamed El Baradei, the head of the IAEA which is staging the conference, said September 11, 2001 had dramatically changed the assessment of the risk posed by dirty bombs. “Given the apparent readiness of terrorists to disregard their own safety, the personal danger from handling powerful radioactive sources can no longer be seen as an effective deterrent.” A dirty bomb would consist of a conventional explosive device combined with radioactive material not intended for use in a nuclear weapon. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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