What of the nightmare scenario—a terrorist group seizing control of a nuclear power plant and getting hold of its core? It has been quiet in much of Kenya since the attack on Garissa, but there is a sense here that al-Shabaab is not weaker—just laying low, possibly planning another major attack. The South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies convened a conference in Nairobi in September on United Nations Resolution 1540, which bans non-state actors from getting their hands on nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. Speaking on the sidelines, Nicolas Kasprzyk, a non-proliferation expert at South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies, is confident that Kenya can keep a nuclear facility safe. He thinks public perception, not actual safety, is the big hurdle. “Clearly more needs to be done to fight this situation with al-Shabaab. How can you build trust in your nuclear program if you’re perceived as not managing to contain the terror threat?” he said. But as proof that Kenya is up to the task, he pointed to its experience protecting medical research facilities with specimens that could easily be turned into biological weapons. There are two level-3 biosafety laboratories (which can handle all but the most lethal diseases) in the vicinity of Nairobi that have been kept secure—both from terrorists and from human error—for years now.
Defense One 4th Nov 2015 read more »