As of December 2015, there were a total of 2,889 confirmed incidents of smuggling nuclear material. Of this total, 454 were classified as incidents involving unauthorised procession and related criminal activities. This peaked in 1994, when nearly 59 incidents occurred. Clearly, this was related to the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union. Since then, there has been a steady decline except for an anomaly during the period from 2004 to 2008 — a period when terrorist groups were most open about their desires to obtain nuclear material. Of the remaining 1,622 smuggling instances, they were classified as other unauthorised activities and events; 762 were classified as reported theft or loss; and a total of 71 cases investigators were unable to determine the category of the incident. These figures raise an important point. Homeland security does not start and stop at a specific border or wall. It requires consistent upstream action in parts of the world far removed from most Americans’ and Western European’s radar horizons. Perhaps the most concerning of these smuggling incidents in Georgia involved the highly toxic substance Strontium-90 in 2013. It was discovered in Samtredia on May 29. This town is an important node on the Georgian railway network which starts at the port of Kobuleti. Another important node is the Georgian capital of Tiblisi, where the majority of the discoveries have been made. The most likely source of these materials is Russia. The route used to smuggle out of Russia comes through the Russian enclave Abkhazia in the north of Georgia, an area where criminal gangs are known to operate.
Homeland Security 17th May 2017 read more »
A new national “infrastructure” police force would be created under Tory plans to improve protection of nuclear sites, railways and roads. An organisation comprising the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) and the British Transport Police (BTP) would be established under the proposed shake-up. The three specialist services are currently separate bodies. In their election manifesto, the Conservatives say the move will “improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network”.
BT 18th May 2017 read more »