Nuclear terrorism top of IAEA conference agenda

1 July 2013
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
Lebanese customs officers practice radiation detection techniques during a training session

Lebanese customs officers practice radiation detection techniques during a training session [Credit: Lebanese Customs Administration]

The International Conference on Nuclear Security is underway in Vienna, with experts maintaining that more action is needed to prevent militant groups from acquiring nuclear material.

Speaking during the event, Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said illegal trafficking of enriched uranium is a serious threat and the cases intercepted by the international authorities are likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

"Some material goes missing and is never found," Amano said, adding that over 100 incidences of thefts and other unauthorised activities involving nuclear and radioactive material are reported to the IAEA every year.

The experts have warned that despite the fact that there has as yet been no terrorist attack involving a nuclear bomb, some radical groups could be able to build crude but dangerous nuclear bombs if they have enough technical knowledge, the necessary amount of fissile material and sufficient budget.

"Taking action now to help prevent an incident occurring, and to limit the consequences if an incident were to happen, is clearly a necessary and a very worthwhile investment,” Amano said. “I believe that this conference will help in our continuing efforts to ensure that no terrorist attack ever succeeds."

The possibility of a so called ‘dirty bomb’ being created by some terrorist groups was discussed as the most likely scenario. Dirty bombs use radioactive material combined with conventional explosives that serve as a means to disperse radiation into the environment.

The amount of nuclear material required to construct a dirty bomb is small compared with the conventional nuclear weapon and it doesn’t require such advanced technical skills.

The results of the conference, attended by 1,300 participants from 123 states and 21 non-governmental institutions, will also serve as a basis for the preparation of the IAEA's next Nuclear Security Plan, outlining security measures regarding storage, transport and use of nuclear material for military and civilian purposes.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • SAP TEAM MANAGER GENERAL ENQUIRIES

    SSE
    • Melksham, Swindon or Oxford
    • £33,520 TO £44,269 + CAR (SSE7) DEPENDING ON SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

    An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Overhead Tower Line Manager within Power Distribution covering Southern England.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Engineer - Submarine Operability

    BAE Systems
    • Cumbria, England, Barrow-In-Furness
    • Competitive package

    As a Principal Engineer - Operability, you will be using your knowledge of submarine systems operation to influence the way the systems are designed, ensuring the Royal Navy personnel will be able to operate the system effectively

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • OVERHEAD TOWER LINE MANAGER

    SSE
    • Southern England
    • SALARY £42,149 - £62,427 + CAR (SSE9/10) DEPENDANT ON SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

    An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Overhead Tower Line Manager within Power Distribution covering Southern England.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer - Water

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Programme Manager

    Network Rail
    • England, London
    • £76800 - £86400 per annum

    Do you possess a track record of taking the lead on large projects?

    • Recruiter: Network Rail

    Apply for this job

  • Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering

    Monash University
    • Australia (AU)

    Shape the future direction of a Department which is currently involved in ground breaking innovative research

    • Recruiter: Monash University

    Apply for this job

  • Rail Engineer

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Burton, Dorking, Glasgow
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    Some of the most exciting infrastructure projects in the UK over the coming years are in rail.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Power & HV Engineers

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Bristol, Burton, Glasgow, Gloucester, Plymouth, Warrington
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    Frazer-Nash is currently embarking on a period of significant growth of our electrical, electronics, control and instrumentation capability.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Control and Instrumentation Engineers

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Bristol, Burton, Dorchester, Glasgow, Gloucester, Plymouth, Warrington
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    Frazer-Nash is currently embarking on a period of significant growth of our electrical, electronics, control and instrumentation capability.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T