Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

NTI Releases Nuclear Terrorism Docudrama, Last Best Chance, a "Wake-Up Call" to the public

July 14, 2005

Orders for Last Best Chance Exceed 42,000;
Film Featured on Meet the Press, Nightline

More than 42,000 people have ordered a DVD of the new film, Last Best Chance, a docudrama about the threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons. Since its release in mid- May, the film has been viewed by a number of key governmental officials and has been featured on NBC’s Meet the Press and ABC’s Nightline programs.

The film was officially released following a screening on May 18 at the Motion Picture Association of America in Washington, D.C. Attendees at the advance screening included actor and former Senator Fred Thompson (Law & Order, Cape Fear, The Hunt for Red October), who plays the President of the United States in the film, philanthropist Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn. Other hosts of the event included Senator Richard Lugar, 9/11 Commission Chair Thomas H. Kean and Vice Chair Lee Hamilton, Carnegie Corporation of New York President Vartan Gregorian, and MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton.

“I got involved in Last Best Chance because of its potential to make preventing nuclear terrorism a higher priority,” said former Senator Thompson. “We need an all-out global effort to lock down nuclear weapons and materials so that the line I deliver in this film about al Qaeda becoming a nuclear power never comes to pass.”

Members of the public can order a copy of the film at www.lastbestchance.org and can also learn more about the threat of nuclear terrorism and what can be done to prevent it. The 45-minute film was produced with support from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), with additional funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and was written and directed by Ben Goddard.

The film got a powerful boost on April 30 when Warren Buffett encouraged shareholders at his annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting to visit www.lastbestchance.org to order a copy of the film. Mr. Buffett told shareholders that the film was “fictional but not fanciful” and that the threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is real.

Last Best Chance is based on facts about the lack of security for nuclear weapons and nuclear materials around the world and builds a fictional, yet plausible, scenario about terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons. The film is followed by a conversation about nuclear dangers with Tom Brokaw, former Senator Nunn (D-GA) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN).

“The least expensive, most effective way to prevent nuclear terrorism is to lock down nuclear weapons and materials at the source, in every country and facility that has them. I hope that this film will be a wake-up call to the public and to policymakers about the gap between the threat and governments’ responses to it,” said Sam Nunn, co-chairman of NTI.

“When people are moving too slowly to respond to a danger, one option is to make it more vivid. The film is frightening, but it is not fear mongering. Seeing the danger is the first step to reducing the risk,” said Ted Turner, co-chairman of NTI.

In the film, al Qaeda operatives organize three separate operations aimed at getting nuclear weapons. Governments around the world discover clues to the plot and race to try and stop the terrorists before it’s too late.

"Nuclear terrorism is the greatest threat to our country. We need an all-out effort to lock up the weapons-grade nuclear material scattered around the world. Last Best Chance is not a message of despair but a message of hope. If we act now, we can protect the American people and prevent disaster,” said 9/11 Commission Chair and Vice Chair, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton.

“Last Best Chance can be a valuable public awareness tool to increase understanding of the global nuclear terrorism threat,” said Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the NTI Board of Directors. “The war on terrorism will not be won until every nuclear stockpile, wherever it may be in the world, is secured and accounted for to stringent and transparent standards. This has been the goal of the Nunn- Lugar program and why we are expanding it beyond the former Soviet Union.”

Last Best Chance is based on facts about the lack of security for nuclear weapons and materials:

  • The bipartisan 9/11 Commission reported that al Qaeda has been trying to acquire nuclear weapons for ten years and cited reports that bin Laden wants to carry out a "Hiroshima."
  • There are a number of confirmed incidents around the world in which governments have seized stolen highly enriched uranium or plutonium.
  • There are more than 100 research reactors or associated facilities worldwide with enough highly enriched uranium to potentially build a bomb.
  • The largest amount of vulnerable material is in Russia, but bomb-making material also is used in 40 different countries, including places like Belarus, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
  • Only 50% of the nuclear weapons material in Russia has received cooperative security upgrades.
  • There is no single U.S. official responsible for keeping nuclear weapons out of terrorists’ hands.

Additional information about Last Best Chance and the global nuclear threat can be found at www.lastbestchance.org.

About

NTI releases nuclear terrorism docudrama, Last Best Chance, a "wake-up call" to the public.

Understanding
the Terrorism Threat

WMD terrorism is a threat to global security. In 2010 testimony, the U.S. director of national intelligence said that dozens of identified domestic and international terrorists and terrorist groups have expressed intent to obtain and use WMD in future acts of terrorism.