WORLD leaders will gather in Washington to discuss how to prevent terrorists getting hold of radioactive material, with the UK set to play a leading role in protecting nuclear facilities from cyber attack. The UK and United States will take part in a joint exercise next year to prepare for any online attack against nuclear power plants and waste storage facilities, such as those at Hinkley, Somerset.
Bridgwater Mercury 31st March 2016 read more »
Top secret security arrangements for nuclear plants like Sizewell B will be examined by world leaders as they discuss how to prevent terrorists getting hold of radioactive material.
Ipswich Star 31st March 2016 read more »
Might terrorists soon build a dirty bomb? The terrorist attacks in Brussels last week, in which 32 people died, reminded states of the importance of tackling the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism. Investigations into the bombings revealed that Islamic State, who claimed responsibility for the attacks, were actively monitoring workers at Belgian nuclear facilities. In response to this discovery, at two Belgian nuclear plants all non-essential staff were sent home within hours of the attacks, as a precautionary measure. Though IS didn’t manage to access nuclear material in the end, this indicates they may have been interested in acquiring material usable in a radiological weapon, or “dirty bomb.”
Prospect 31st March 2016 read more »
Britain braced for ISIS cyber attacks on nuclear power plants as Cameron flies for talks with Obama on how to stop jihadis seizing radioactive material.
Daily Mail 31st March 2016 read more »
UK preparing for ISIS Dirty Bomb amid fears hackers could target UK nuclear plant.
Express 31st March 2016 read more »
When some of the world’s major nuclear powers meet in Washington DC next Friday, they will be shadowed by the rising terrorist attacks– largely in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, which will take place 31 March-April 1, will the fourth and final conference in a series initiated by US President Barack Obama in 2009 to address one key issue: nuclear terrorism as an extreme threat to global security. According to the US State Department, the overarching theme of the summit meeting, to be attended by the world’s nuclear leaders, is “the risk of nuclear or radiological terrorism and how nations can mitigate this threat.” Dr Rebecca Johnson, a London-based expert on non-proliferation and multilateral security agreements, told IPS the terrorist attacks that ripped through Brussels “tragically remind us that President Obama’s key objective in setting up the Nuclear Security Summits was to prevent nuclear materials getting into the hands of anyone wishing to use them for nuclear or radiological weapons.” “As well as strengthening intelligence and transnational cooperation, I hope they won’t forget that the risks start with the nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the nine nuclear-armed states”.
IPS 25th March 2016 read more »
Britain and the US will stage a war-game later this year, simulating a cyber attack on a nuclear power plant, to test the readiness of the government and utility firms. As David Cameron prepares to fly to Washington to attend a nuclear security summit, convened by Barack Obama, government sources said the two countries plan to cooperate on exploring the resilience of nuclear infrastructure to a terrorist attack. Government sources said the exercise was not triggered by any credible intelligence about the threat of such an attack, but that it was “prudent planning,” adding: “It gives us the ability to test these systems, and make sure that we learn any lessons.”
Guardian 31st March 2016 read more »
World leaders can make progress in preventing nuclear terrorism and simultaneously support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement if they can connect the dots between the carbon-free world that we need and the strengthened nuclear security regime that is required to support it. These interconnected issues need to be the focus at the upcoming and final Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on April 1. There is little doubt that if terrorists acquire nuclear material they will use it. Al Qaeda long ago pledged to obtain a nuclear device. ISIS recently shadowed a nuclear official in Belgium, a country with fissionable nuclear material. High intensity radioactive sources used for medical and industrial purposes – and the key component of a dirty bomb – go missing with regularity. There are no binding international standards for countries with regard to securing dangerous nuclear and other radioactive material. There is no mandatory process of assessing whether a country has secured its nuclear material. There is no mechanism for the timely review and updating of nuclear security requirements as technologies and threats evolve.
Huffington Post 29th March 2016 read more »
As President Obama gathers world leaders in Washington this week for his last Nuclear Security Summit, tons of materials that terrorists could use to make small nuclear devices or dirty bombs remain deeply vulnerable to theft. Still, Mr. Obama’s six-year effort to rid the world of loose nuclear material has succeeded in pulling bomb-grade fuel out of countries from Ukraine to Chile, and has firmly put nuclear security on the global agenda. But despite the progress, several countries are balking at safeguards promoted by the United States or are building new stockpiles. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, where some of the largest stockpiles of civilian nuclear material remain, has decided to boycott the summit meeting, which begins Thursday night. Mr. Putin has made it clear he will not engage in nuclear cleanup efforts dominated by the United States.
New York Times 30th March 2016 read more »