Deploying Nuclear Detection Systems: A Proposed Strategy for Combating Nuclear Terrorism   [open pdf - 0B]

"The most likely means of delivering a nuclear bomb on a major city is through a successful smuggling effort by a terrorist organization. The catastrophic damage it would cause demands cooperative action by all responsible governments. Several U.S. Government programs are in place to deal with this threat. These programs focus on the following: (1) Measures to prevent access by terrorist groups to fissile material, particularly enriched uranium and plutonium, the basic fuel for nuclear bombs; (2) Measures to strengthen international institutions to enable governments to deal more effectively with illicit trade in fissile materials and in equipment that can produce such materials; (3) Measures to enhance international cooperation in intelligence sharing and law enforcement; (4) Cooperative international defense activities designed to intercept illegal trafficking in fissile materials and equipment to produce these materials; and (5) Strengthening the capacity to monitor and detect illicit shipments of fissionable materials at entry points into the United States and, in cooperation with other countries, at key transportation nodes overseas. This report focuses on the last of these programs, and primarily on deployment of sensors overseas. This report provides an overview of the threat from nuclear terrorism; discusses the role of intelligence and risk assessments in countering this threat; provides a brief overview of nuclear detection technologies and issues; briefly summarizes key U.S. Government programs involved in nuclear detection; summarizes domestic legislation, which provides the impetus for increasing international collaboration; and discusses the need for a global approach to nuclear nonproliferation in which international institutions assume a leading and sustained leadership role."

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