A paper by Guillermo Velarde, José Manuel Perlado, Natividad Carpintero-Santamaría, Institute of Nuclear Fusion (IFN), Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain


In 2008 the European Union Council adopted the New Lines for Action in Combating the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems. Main objectives of this strategy are to take measures to combat intangible transfers of know-how, and to intensify efforts to combat proliferation financing, among others. The policy of some countries that want to develop nuclear weapons is worrisome, as they begin to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

But the full scope of nuclear threat encompasses not merely nuclear proliferation. The transnational nature of nuclear and radiological terrorism threat is a matter of great concern. Although the acquisition of weapon-grade uranium is a challenging task for a terrorist organization and the probability that a terrorist group could make an improvised nuclear device or crude nuclear bomb is very small, a real threat includes that a terrorist group, either acting independently or acting as part of a bigger organization, could explode a radiological dispersion device or dirty bomb. According to the 2014 Annual Report of CNS Global Incidents and Trafficking Database, in the last two years 325 incidents of illicit trafficking of radioactive materials have occurred in 38 different countries.

Preventing illicit trafficking in radioactive materials is of paramount importance due to the possibility that they could be transported by people who might enter clandestinely into Western countries. As reported by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex), during the first, second and third quarter of 2015, 2,585 clandestine entries were detected at EU border crossing points.

Nuclear proliferation and radiological terrorism are unequivocally threats worldwide. Reinforcing the multilateral non-proliferation regime and combating the asymmetric threat posed by radiological terrorism are main issues where international collaboration plays a key role in the globalized context of international security.

Please access the Full Paper by clicking on the following link: The Development of Asymmetric RN Threats Worldwide

The Full Paper will be presented by Natividad Carpintero-Santamaría during the Innovation Stream of NCT CBRNe USA, taking place 31 May – 2 June in Washington DC.

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