Here's what the experts say at,
The Nuclear Control Institute has played a leading role in advocating and supporting U.S. government efforts to end civilian uses of bomb-grade uranium (HEU). Commerce in such material is especially dangerous because of the relative ease with which it can be made into nuclear weapons. According to Manhattan Project physicist Luis Alvarez, With modern weapons-grade uranium, the background neutron rate is so low that terrorists, if they had such material, would have a good chance of setting off a high-yield explosion simply by dropping one half of the material onto the other half....Even a high school kid could make a bomb in short order.
For the complete article on terrorists ability to build nuclear bombs
see the Nuclear Control Institute web site.
1996 Nuclear Control Institute.
1000 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 804
Washington, DC, 20036, U.S.A.
Telephone: 202-822-8444, Fax: 202-452-0892
The immediate threat of mutual nuclear annihilation may now be behind us, but before us is a brave new nuclear world whose awesome dimensions are only now being realized. The year 2000 will mark a turning point in human history, when more atom-bomb material begins circulating in civilian commerce than exists in nuclear weapons.
The material is weapons-usable plutonium, created in civilian reactors that generate electricity for cities, rather than in military reactors that produce material for bombs. The problem is that although the intended use of these two kinds of reactors is different, the byproduct is the same---plutonium, an essential ingredient of nuclear weapons. Civilian electrical power reactors are typically much larger than military production reactors and therefore produce many times more plutonium.
The nuclear industry is well on its way to introducing this civilian plutonium on the world market as a commercial fuel, as it does uranium. The uranium now used in power reactors is a low grade that cannot be used in weapons. But the plutonium can be used either for fuel or for bombs.
Plutonium becomes a concentrated nuclear-explosive material once it is separated from the highly radioactive wastes (so-called "spent fuel") of a reactor. If then mixed with uranium, the plutonium can be used to fuel reactors. This is the industry's plan.
A further problem is the continuing use of bomb-grade, highly enriched
uranium (HEU) in research reactors on university campuses and in research
institutes, where security is typically relaxed. International trade in
HEU was started with little foresight in the 1950s, under the Atoms for
Peace program. Over the next three decades, the United States exported
dozens of nuclear research reactors and tens of tons of HEU---the same
material used in the Hiroshima bomb. If stolen or diverted, a tiny fraction
of this material---less than 25 kilograms ---would be sufficient to build
a nuclear weapon. Commerce in such material is especially dangerous because
of the relative ease with which it can be made into nuclear weapons. A
number of nations, including Belgium, France, Germany and South Africa,
are refusing to fully cooperate in an international program to convert
existing reactors and build new reactors to use low enriched uranium that
cannot be made into
At the same time, plutonium separation in so-called "reprocessing plants," once the exclusive domain of bomb makers, is now getting underway in earnest in the commercial sector. Fortunately, it is still confined to a relatively small group of countries---Britain, France, India, Japan and Russia. The question is, can separation and use of plutonium be stopped before it spreads further?
The United States does not reprocess spent fuel of power reactors at home for both economic and non-proliferation reasons. But the U.S. has not been prepared to press either case on European and Japanese allies or to enforce U.S. non-proliferation laws to restrain their plutonium programs. Seventy-five per cent of the plutonium being extracted today in Europe and Japan is from U.S.-supplied nuclear fuel.
The U.S. has given political interests with allies clear precedence over its obvious security interest in making sure that U.S. exports of non-weapons-usable nuclear fuel do not end up as weapons-usable plutonium in world commerce. The result: U.S.-origin plutonium is now beginning to enter world commerce in frightening amounts.
The brave new world ahead is actually a crossroads. One path leads to widespread use of plutonium as a commercial fuel on the premise that it is being adequately protected against misuse for bombs by nations or by groups. The other path leads to a ban on civilian plutonium because 100% protection and permanent peaceful use cannot be guaranteed.
Both paths are still open. Plutonium is an essential weapons material, but it is not an essential reactor fuel. Ample reserves of inexpensive uranium have been found to keep power reactors operating. Low-grade uranium fuel for power reactors is four to eight times cheaper than mixed plutonium-uranium fuel. The plutonium industry, originally established to offset an anticipated uranium shortage, is no longer needed. But the factories it has built in the meantime to extract plutonium and fabricate it into fuel are beginning to start up nonetheless.
"Police Seize Uranium Rod In India's Kerala
State " is a very frightening news.
F. R. Sarker writes.
I am now convinced to believe that lots of smugglers are engaged
in selling Uranium in black markets in India and Pakistan.
A few months back, one person came to my office and told me whether I was interested for a big deal with Uranium. I did not believe his words but just for informations from him I asked him to give me a brief description of his consignment. He showd me a small sheet of paper mostly written in Russian language but a few words were in English written in hand which indicated that the consignment contained 2kgs Uranium 235. He told me that this consignment was brought out by a
person from a state of Russian Federation , perhaps Tajakhistan at the cost of about US$. 5 million. He further told me that Nuclear Plants both in India and Pakistan buy Uranium from private sources because the prices are cheaper compared to the cost of its official imports. I warned the man not to deal with Uranium because it was not only prohibited by the law of Bangladesh but also extremely lethal which might endanger his life .In fact, I did not believe his words that Uranium could be smuggled out and sold in the black markets . But the recent haul of Uranium by Police in Kerala, India from a hospital of Cochin as reported by Reuters substantiates the facts that Uranium is being freely sold out in black markets in India and Pakistan and a gang of smugglers are engaged in this dangerous trade.
There are other reasons to beleive the free sales of Uranium and other
radioactive materials in the markets of India and Pakistan.
These two belligerent countries are now engaged in developing nuclear arsenals and their productions are running in full swing. Both the countries are gearing all out preparations for a nuclear war which might flare up at any moment when either country deems suitable. It is true, collections of nuclear raw materials through official levels are cumbersome and costly so it is quite likely that government officials of both India and Pakistan are procuring their raw materials through black markets. While armies in India and Pakistan are engaged in tough fights alongside the borders in Kashmir , smugglers of both the countries are happily trading with their arms, drugs and lots of other items through these borders. Huge consignments of AK 47 Rifles from Russia, Heroin from Afghanistan are smuggled through Kashmir and shipped out to respective destinations around the world through Bombay and other ports of India.
Reports indicate that lots of U.S. Drug smugglers are engaged in Opium and Heroin business in Afghanistan and helping Osama Bin Laden increase his earnings many folds. Some recent reports indicate that Laden under a fake name is trying to procure one submarine from USA to shoot torpedos to the U.S. Navy vessels plying in the gulf.
All these reports are indicative of a very bleak and catastrophic consequences awaiting for the people of this part of the world. Presently, Uranium is available in black market but a day might come when it would be freely available in the departmental stores in India and Pakistan.
F. R. Sarker
VP , GDR
Liability Report Left Public
By JOHN SOLOMON
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government has known since at least 1982 that American nuclear power plants were susceptible to a jetliner crash yet left a scientific report in a public reading room that identified the specific vulnerabilities of reactors.
The 119-page report was available for public inspection at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission well after the Sept. 11 hijackings despite warnings dating to 1994 that terrorists wanted to strike a U.S. nuclear power plant.
The study, conducted in 1982 by the Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory, identified the speeds at which a jetliner could begin to pierce the thick concrete containment walls designed to protect a nuclear reactor.
It estimated that if just 1 percent of a jetliner's fuel ignited after impact, it would create an explosion equivalent to 1,000 pounds of dynamite inside a reactor building already damaged by the impact. The report suggested U.S. regulators had underestimated the potential damage from such an explosion.
``It appears that fire and explosion hazards have been treated with much less care,'' the report said. It added: ``The breaching of some of the plant's concrete barriers may often be tantamount to a release of radioactivity.''
An NRC spokesman said Wednesday the report was removed from the reading room earlier this month and that the agency also was scrubbing its Web site of any similarly sensitive documents that could aid terrorists.
The agency also has ordered security improvements at the nation's 103 nuclear plants since Sept. 11 to address concerns like guarding against a suicide hijacker.
NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said such precautions weren't taken before Sept. 11 because ``it was never considered credible that suicidal terrorists would hijack a large commercial airliner and deliberately crash it into a nuclear power plant.''
The federal whistleblower group that discovered the report filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking the NRC and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge to order immediate security improvements at nuclear power plants.
The National Whistleblower Center asked the NRC to deploy anti-missile weapons at nuclear plants and post armed guards outside spent fuel storage areas, which it said have far less security than reactors but potentially could release lethal amounts of radiation.
Noting the government has known since 1994 that terrorist groups wanted to attack an American nuclear power plant, the center alleged the NRC ``left the public at grave risk'' by keeping the document public and failing to fortify nuclear reactors before Sept. 11.
Ramzi Yousef, the accused mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, encouraged followers in 1994 to strike such a plant, officials say. An FBI agent has testified in court that one of Yousef's followers told him in 1995 of plans to ``blow up'' a nuclear plant. And in 1999, the NRC acknowledged to Congress that it received a credible threat of a terrorist attack against a nuclear power facility.
``The fact of the matter is that no commercial nuclear power plant located within the United States was designed to withstand the impact of a large commercial airliner,'' the lawsuit said.
The 1982 report described the exact speed at which a jetliner would begin to transfer its force into the primary containment wall and interior structure of a nuclear reactor.
It described how the concrete walls of a reactor building would spall, scab and eventually perforate depending on the speed of the airliner impact. ``Once scabbing begins, the depth of penetration will increase rapidly,'' it warned.
And it stated U.S. officials who approved nuclear power plant designs had underestimated the potential damage that a secondary explosion of fuel might cause.
If just 1 percent of a jetliner's fuel ignited after impact, it would create an explosion equivalent to 1,000 pounds of dynamite inside a reactor building already damaged by the impact.
The ignition of fuel ``could lead to a rather violent explosion environment,'' the report warned.
The 1982 study contrasts with statements some U.S. nuclear officials made in the first few days after the Sept. 11 attacks suggesting that American nuclear power plants could withstand the crash of a commercial jetliner.
Ten days after the attacks, the NRC corrected those assertions by saying it could not rule out the possibility that a suicide hijacker could cause structural damage to a plant and force the release of some radioactivity. ``Nuclear power plants were not designed to withstand such crashes,'' it said.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a frequent NRC critic, said the document suggests the government should have prepared to guard against a jetliner crash much earlier.
``This document is disturbing because it makes clear the NRC knows that a nuclear power plant can be successfully attacked by an aircraft and that information has been public for nearly 20 years,'' Markey said.
On the Net:
Whistleblower center: http://www.whistleblowers.org
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
As anyone can see the threat of nuclear disaster continues. With all the radiation related groups trying to do something about the problems, it is clear to see we need to be looking at directions to the deactivate of radiation (GDR).
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