Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Ukrainian Authorities Seize Possible Dirty-Bomb Material
Ukrainian authorities on Monday announced the seizure of radioactive material that had been smuggled into the country from a separatist region.
The Ukrainian security service's counterintelligence branch apprehended nine individuals on April 30 in the Chernivtsi region, a spokeswoman for the department said in an Interfax-Ukraine report that was translated by the BBC. The security service characterized the seized material as a "source of ionizing radiation which possibly contained uranium-235" with a weight of roughly 1.5 kilograms.
Security service officials are not excluding the possibility that the alleged nuclear smuggling ring was planning to construct a radiological weapon that might be detonated during public gatherings in the southeastern part of Ukraine for the purpose of fomenting political and social unrest.
Department spokeswoman Maryna Ostapenko told reporters in Kiev that "the hazardous substance was brought to the territory of Ukraine from the self-proclaimed [Trans-Dniester] republic in a car with an international number plate. The radioactive substance was stored in a makeshift container."
According to initial information, at least one Russian national and a number of Ukrainian citizens were arrested. A criminal investigation has been launched into alleged banned uses of radioactive substances.
Though not anywhere near as deadly as a nuclear weapon, a dirty bomb dispersing radioactive material with conventional explosives could still cause significant environmental and psychological damage.
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
July 31, 2014
Providing free and open access to centralized information on nuclear and other radioactive material that has been lost, stolen, or is otherwise out of regulatory control, the new Global Incidents and Trafficking Database and Report prepared by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) offers researchers and policymakers a unique resource to assess the nature and scope of nuclear security risks.
March 19, 2014
In a new Project Syndicate op-ed, NTI President Joan Rohlfing calls for leaders at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit to establish a global nuclear security system.
This article provides an overview of the Ukraine's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.