“Maintaining control over nuclear and other radioactive material globally is vital to both nonproliferation and prevention of nuclear terrorism. As a conference bringing together regulatory, intelligence, and law enforcement organizations from around the world and convened by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) affirmed, “terrorist groups have the intention of attempting to acquire and use nuclear or radioactive material for malicious acts … the possibility of an attempt is real.” Even a poorly constructed radiological dispersion device—commonly but inaccurately known as a “dirty bomb”— could incite widespread panic and generate significant contamination. This makes it imperative to keep nuclear and other radioactive materials under regulatory control at all times. Providing free and open access to centralized information on material that has been lost, stolen, or is otherwise out of regulatory control, the new Global Incidents and Trafficking Database prepared by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and funded by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) offers researchers and policymakers a unique resource to assess the nature and scope of nuclear security risks. The full database is available at: www.nti.org/trafficking. The initial 2013 Annual Report, and subsequent reports, will highlight relevant implications for policymakers working to improve nuclear security.”
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