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IAEA warns about potential ‘nuclear terrorism’

26 March 2016 13:19

The file photo shows Israel’s nuclear facility in the Negev Desert.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has warned that terrorists may employ nuclear materials to carry out attacks around the world.

“Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded,” Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said.

“It is now an old technology and nowadays terrorists have the means, the knowledge and the information,” he said in reference to the nuclear technology.
It is “not impossible” that extremists manage to make a “primitive” explosive device, he speculated.

“[IAEA] member states need to have sustained interest in strengthening nuclear security,” he warned.

Nuclear facilities across the international community reportedly contain enough plutonium and highly-enriched uranium to make 20,000 weapons with the destructive power of the bomb used against the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945.

The IAEA has recorded nearly 2,800 instances of illicit trafficking, “unauthorized possession” or loss of nuclear materials since the mid-1990s.

Amano, meanwhile, warned that terrorists are more likely to make “dirty bombs” by integrating radioactive materials other than uranium or plutonium into conventional weapons. “Dirty bombs will be enough to (drive) any big city in the world into panic… And the psychological, economic and political implications would be enormous.”

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