25 July 2007

Nuclear threats

A trio of security vulnerabilities surrounding the use of nuclear power
are highlighted in papers in International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology 1(3) 2007.

The first threat is at the source of the raw material for nuclear power
itself, the uranium mine, processing plant, and transport route. Here,
physical protection and security are at a much lower level than at a
nuclear installation in the developed world, according to Austrian

The second threat is from saboteurs with expertise in the industry and
the security of nuclear installations. Researchers from the US
Environmental Protection Agency suggest that such saboteurs on the
inside could wreak havoc and cause a serious environmental and health
threats with only small, shaped explosives or even no explosives at all.

Finally, at the waste end of the nuclear industry, a second US team
point out that the significant quantities of spent radioactive fuel
could also represent a security nightmare. The team from environmental
health and safety consultants S. Cohen and Associates, in Montgomery
Alabama, point out that there is no secure central repository for
nuclear waste. Any one of the waste storage or processing plants could
be vulnerable to a terrorist attack.

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