Reuters blog archive
from The Great Debate:
When highly radioactive material that can be used in a “dirty bomb” is moved to or from a hospital in New York City, it is done in the dead of night on cordoned streets with high security.
In Mexico two weeks ago, a truck moving a large canister containing radioactive material was hijacked at a gas station -- where it had been parked with no security. The cobalt-60 that was stolen from the vehicle and then extracted from its protective lead shield is so potent that it is considered a significant national security threat under U.S. guidelines.
There are now no international mandatory requirements for how to control these dangerous materials -- including how they should be transported. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the international nuclear watchdog, has only issued recommendations, in the form of a voluntary Code of Conduct.This disconnect between how nations manage extremely dangerous nuclear materials sought by terrorists creates significant security vulnerabilities. If a dirty bomb is exploded anywhere in the world, it would cross the nuclear terrorism threshold and open the door to further attacks.
An IAEA meeting of 88 nations recently assessed the effectiveness of the Code of Conduct at its 10-year anniversary. The participants acknowledged that the non-binding status quo is inadequate.
from Tales from the Trail:
Dozens of world leaders stood and bowed their heads in a moment of silence honoring Polish President Lech Kaczynski and nearly 100 others who died on Saturday in a plane crash in western Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama remembered the deaths as losses not just for their own country, "a close friend and ally," but for the world, before making remarks formally opening a gathering of world leaders to discuss nuclear security issues.
"Before I begin, I want to take this moment once again to acknowledge the terrible tragedy that struck the Polish people this weekend. All of us were shocked and deeply saddened by the devastating loss of President Kaczynski, the first lady and so many distinguished civilian and military leaders from your country. This was a loss not just for Poland but for the world," Obama said.
from Tales from the Trail:
There's nuclear security, and then there's street security.
High-level delegations from nearly 50 countries gathered in Washington to talk, talk, talk, and talk some more about keeping the world safe from nuclear terrorism at the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Barack Obama.
That in turn required Washington to cope with ensuring the safety of the world leaders gathered to mull world security.
from The Great Debate UK:
Nuclear disarmament has been rather knocked out of the foreign affairs headlines over recent weeks by more immediate concerns over potential pandemics, the Indian election and the endgame of the long running conflict in Sri Lanka. But last week while the world’s media were looking elsewhere the international arms control and disarmament community took a remarkable step to break what has been called the “Decade of Deadlock”.