The US State Department published on 29th September the transcript of evidence given by Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the Nuclear Security Working Group Workshop on “US Government Coordination to Address Nonproliferation” held at the Wye River Conference Center in Maryland.  In it he explains that the Government is also concerned about the security of certain radioactive sources that could be used in a radiological dispersal device (RDD) — the “dirty bomb” threat, as well as terrorists constructing a nuclear device.  He says that since the 1990s, countries have reported 18 seizures of weapon-usable nuclear material in various quantities. This included several seizures of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in Georgia and Moldova in the 2000s.  On at least a couple of occasions, he says, Chechen groups in Russia have tried to employ “dirty bombs,” though so far unsuccessfully.  He then went on to outline US counter-nuclear smuggling programs and policy in the light of the potential radiological/nuclear (or “R/N”) threat(s).  This involves international partnerships to provide training and support, for example over the requirements of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (or ICSANT), with much of the work undertaken by the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism (WMDT).

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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