Myths about nuclear terrorism destroyed

Even those, who hardly know any laws of physics, can make an A-bomb with the help of instructions on the Internet

The Russian Council for foreign and defense policy and the US Harvard University presented a 120-page report titled “Securing the Bomb 2005: The New Global Imperatives.” The report (prepared by Harvard professors Matthew Bunn and Anthony Wier)  has been recognized as the first targeted work on the issue of the nuclear terrorism. Sam Nunn, the author of the well-known project about initiatives for the reduction of nuclear threat, presented the document in Washington in the beginning of May. “Securing the Bomb 2005” has been recently presented in Russia as well.

The subject of the report is not new, but it is still actual nowadays: terrorist organizations are persistent in their search for nuclear weapons. Mathew Bunn presented a sketch of an implosive bomb that was found in al-Qaeda's documents. Ingredients for a small bomb can be easily placed in a small case. Terrorists can obtain nuclear weapons indeed, it is quite possible, taking into consideration a large number of nuclear reactors that work on enriched uranium.

The protection of strategic nuclear objects has become a very important issue over the recent several years. American specialists believe that Russia still has a lot to accomplish at this point. It turned out that making a nuclear bomb is not a hard task to do. US specialists conducted a special experiment, in which two men, who were hardly familiar with laws of physics, made a nuclear bomb only with the help of instructions, which they found on the Internet.

The authors of the report believe that both American and Russian officials completely endanger the national security of the two countries with red tape, which drops the implementation of many agreements. Nevertheless, scientists suggested the establishment of another bureaucratic organization that would be responsible for both Russia's and the USA's participation in the global partnership program. This suggestion looks rather logic even against the background of the red tape criticism. There is a number of departments and organizations that carry responsibility for this partnership in Russia, although there is no one, who can be personally responsible for it.

The problem of nuclear security is especially important for Russia. Russia borders on unstable countries, where nuclear and missile technologies are developing dynamically. In addition, Russia has not put forward any significant initiative in the field of nuclear disarmament.

The USA, in its turn, has been neglecting the Treaty to End the Production of Fissile Material. This document, however, would allow to control every kilogram of enriched uranium and plutonium. About 100 tons of nuclear materials were made in the USA during the Cold War era, US specialists calculated.

According to the information from special services, terrorists seek after unconcentrated uranium. The defense of unconcentrated uranium is weaker, whereas enrichment technologies become more and more accessible.

The report “Securing the Bomb-2005” is based on the myth-destruction principle. It particularly says that terrorists will not be able to make and explode an A-bomb, but the myth is earnestly destroyed later. The document collects seven myths in total.

There is an obvious weak point in the report. The document says what should be done, but it does not say how. There are no suggestions about the nuclear cooperation with third world countries. Russia and the USA still stick to the principle of the mutual nuclear containment. The USA pulled out from the 1972 ABM Treaty and started establishing a national defense system. Specialists say that the American ABM system is aimed against China, although it could also be used against Russia in the future. The Russian president, in his turn, talks about the successful development of new weapons, which will be capable of destroying any ABM system.

Author`s name Olga Savka