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Guard the Nukes! Rate of Nuclear Thefts Disturbingly High

Almost 250 thefts of nuclear or radioactive material were reported last year. The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency explained this week: “The possibility of terrorists obtaining nuclear or other radioactive material remains a grave threat. Equally troubling is the fact that much of this material is not subsequently recovered.”

Experts say health consequences of a dirty bomb are minimal compared to the panic that it would cause. But, there's no need to panic quite yet —all the material stolen last year combined would not be enough to build a device.

Last week, a new commission created by Australia and Japan to bring together officials from nuclear powers and other interested parties, met to discuss the spread of nuclear weapons since the Cold War. In 2009, the commission will meet again in Washington, DC to push for the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, a treaty that still awaits US ratification.

Hopefully, other crises like the financial or climate crises don't cause world leaders to take their eyes off this dangerous issue.


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Again, we need to realise that the vast majority of the smuggling is going on in the former Soviet Republics. It isn't a problem in America.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I don't really see the point of the treaty. If everyone signed it, it's only good until someone decides it's in their best interest to ignore it. See the Cold War and the gazillion treaties we signed with the Soviet Union that they ignored when they felt like it. There was an article awhile back in the Atlantic about smuggling of yellow cake uranium from Russia to the Middle East using Ossetia (remember them?!) as a through way. It was pretty scare stuff. It may not be enough to do anything now, but eventually it could be and it's not like it's the good guys who are obtaining it.
janneth janneth 8 years
With this track record how dare we think about building more nuclear power plants?
siguros siguros 8 years
& with all the money we spend (the U.S.) we cannot even up the security of our nuclear weapons. So whack.
siguros siguros 8 years
Who wants the US to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty? I think the US should do it if key countries that pose a threat to US and the world ratify it as well. But if we do it and North Korea doesnt its like well whats the point?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Shock and suprise. Most of the thefts are from the former Soviet Republics. Maybe we should've done more to keep the cold war going...
stephley stephley 8 years
Sure wish our government would take the matter more seriously.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
scary.. :scared:
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
God, this is scary.
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