A report from the Belfer Center for Scientific and International Affairs says that the international community has made substantial progress in improving security for such stocks since the early 1990s, including through the nuclear security summits in 2010-2016. However, it says that momentum is slowing, raising serious doubts as to whether national leaders are fulfilling their commitment to continue to make nuclear security a priority. Additionally, it says, rapidly evolving technologies such as cyber and drones could increase adversary threats to nuclear facilities and stocks in the years to come. If nuclear security improvements do not keep pace, the risk of nuclear terrorism is likely to grow. It says that the risk that terrorists could get and use a nuclear bomb — turning the heart of a modern city into a smouldering radioactive ruin — remains very real. Sabotage of major nuclear facilities or dispersal of radioactive material in a disruptive “dirty bomb” also remain real risks. It lists the 3 potential types of attack –
- caused either by a weapon acquired from a state arsenal or an improvised device fashioned from stolen fissile material;
- sabotage of a nuclear facility resulting in a large release of radiation;
- dispersal of radioactive material by a “dirty bomb” (or RDD) or other means, to deny access to an area and create panic and disruption.