The Threat of Nuclear Smuggling

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The Real Threat of NuclearSmuggling

This reading was based on the controversy over the

threat that nuclear smuggling poses. It begins by going

over the view of each side in a brief manner. It states

that some analysts dismiss it as a minor nuisance while

others find the danger to be very real and probable.

This reading stands mainly for the belief that nuclear

smuggling is a real danger. The analysts that find this

issue to be a problem say that nuclear smuggling presents

grave and serious because even though the percent of

these type of smuggling is less than that of drugs for

example, the law-enforcement type officials are also less

experienced at stopping shipments of an item such as

uranium than they are in seizing marijuana or hashish.

These same analysts have also found that even a small

leakage rate of any type of nuclear material can have

extremely vast consequences and dangers.

They say that

although secrecy rules make precise numbers impossible to

get, Thomas B. Cochran of the Natural Resources Defense

Council in Washington, D.C., estimates that a bomb

requires between three and 25 kilograms of enriched

uranium or between one and eight kilograms of plutonium.

A Kilogram of plutonium occupies about 50.4 cubic

centimeters, or one seventh the volume of a standard

aluminum soft-drink can.

In addition to this, analysts have found that

security is much to lax in even the supposedly 'most

protected locations'. For example, the Russian stores in

particular suffer from sloppy security, poor inventory

management and inadequate measurements. Then there is the

virtually nonexistent security at nuclear installations

that compounds the problem. The main reason for this

lack of security is that pay and conditions have worsened

and disaffection has become widespread. So with an

alienated workforce suffering from low...