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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Mock Terrorists Reach Nuclear Bomb Material in U.S. Facility Drill

Personnel transfer a plutonium oxide container at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Mock terrorists reached a supply of simulated nuclear-bomb material during an exercise at the facility in January (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration photo). Personnel transfer a plutonium oxide container at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Mock terrorists reached a supply of simulated nuclear-bomb material during an exercise at the facility in January (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration photo).

Energy Department personnel pretending to be terrorists reached a substance representing nuclear-weapon fuel after they fought through defenses in a January exercise at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, the Project on Government Oversight reported last week.

Targets in a series of "force-on-force" exercises conducted at the facility included the H-Canyon Complex, which can contain up to several tons of weapon-usable uranium and plutonium, according to unspecified sources cited by the watchdog group.

The DOE Savannah River Office rejected a Freedom of Information Act request by POGO staff for unclassified findings from the drills, arguing that the materials still "contain sensitive security information."

The accountability organization, though, said "the results of these tests are vital to developing new and better ways of securing our nuclear sites."

"POGO has found over time that when the test results are released, the problems get fixed," the group added.

NTI Analysis

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    May 23, 2014

    The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.

  • NSS 2014: Significant Progress But More to Do

    April 2, 2014

    NTI's overview of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and the work ahead for 2016.

Country Profile

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United States

This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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