Illicit Trafficking in Weapons-Useable Nuclear Material: Still More Questions Than Answers

Among all potential scenarios of WMD terrorism, detonation of a nuclear weapon would lead to the most devastating consequences. While the chances that terrorists could obtain a ready-to-use nuclear weapon are low, there is a concern that some terrorist groups could construct a crude nuclear weapon from weapons-grade or weapons-useable nuclear material, such as highly enriched uranium (HEU) or plutonium. To better appreciate the potential of terrorists to acquire a nuclear weapons capability it is essential, among other things, to realistically understand the current “state of play” in the area of illicit trafficking in HEU and plutonium.

Analyzing HEU and plutonium trafficking is challenging because credible information on key aspects of nuclear trafficking investigations is not always available, and because there is a concern that not all such events have been detected by authorities. Virtually all investigations in HEU and plutonium trafficking have left more questions than answers. Two questions are of particular relevance to the issue of nuclear terrorism. The first is whether HEU or plutonium are available for illegal purchase, especially in quantities sufficient for the production of at least one nuclear explosive device. [1] The second is whether sellers of HEU or plutonium, or intermediaries involved, are capable of finding buyers, particularly end-users, and vice-versa.

A recent incident in Moldova featuring the seizure of a small quantity of HEU revived concerns that weapons-useable materials could be within the reach of terrorists. This is the seventeenth known case of illicit trafficking in HEU and plutonium, based upon information available in the public domain. [2] In this brief, the facts revealed by the Moldovan investigation so far and allegations surrounding it will be reviewed through the prism of the above two questions. This review will be supplemented with, and compared to, the data related to the previous cases of HEU and plutonium trafficking.

Seizure of HEU in Moldova: New Act of Old Actors?

In June 2011, Moldovan authorities apprehended a group of middlemen who attempted to sell 4.4 grams of HEU in a cylindrical lead container to an undercover police agent. The enrichment level of the uranium seized has not yet been announced. According to press reports, the group consisted of several citizens of Moldova and the Russian Federation, some of whom were residents of Transnistria – the breakaway territory of Moldova (also referred to as Transdniestria). According to Moldovan officials, the material had been smuggled from Russia and transported through Transdniestria. The criminals claimed that they could provide between 1 and 9 kg of HEU [3] and that they could also supply plutonium if the “buyers” had demonstrated that they were “serious customers.” [4] According to some press reports, a person from an unnamed North African country is wanted for having tried to buy the uranium offered by the peddlers. [5] Other sources claim that it was the undercover police agent who posed as a buyer from North Africa. [6] In September 2011, criminal investigation into the case was reportedly completed and transferred to court. Three members of the group will stand trial for “illegal acquisition, possession, smuggling and use of nuclear material.” [7]

Researchers familiar with the seizures of HEU samples in Rousse (Bulgaria) in 1999, and in Paris (France) in 2001 will notice certain similarities between those cases and the case in Moldova. First of all, the containers housing the materials attract attention; in all three cases they are quite similar in size and shape. [8] The Rousse and Paris containers had additional “shielding”, and they were filled with the same type of paraffin wax. [9] The Moldovan container may also have the same internal organization. [10] In describing their container to the “fake” buyer, smugglers mentioned that it had additional “shielding” inside. [11] Such containers have not been employed in other known HEU and plutonium trafficking cases and appear to be unique. [12] Results of nuclear forensic analyses of the HEU seized in the Rousse and Paris cases, forensic analysis of the non-nuclear material used to package the samples, and their overall similar packaging pattern indicate that those samples probably had the same origin and were likely supplied by the same sellers. [13] These sellers must have been professionals working in the nuclear field, or they employed such professionals, because both samples were packaged in such a way that it would have made their detection by radiation monitors extremely difficult. Given that the container seized in Moldova appears very similar to the containers seized in Rousse and Paris, it is possible that the “Moldovan” HEU was also supplied by the same sellers.

These three cases are also connected by the geographical area through which the materials were trafficked; Moldova featured in all three cases, and Transdniestria in two of them. The peddlers arrested in Chisinau are alleged to have operated from Transdniestria. [14] The Turkish courier transporting the Rousse sample was a resident of Chisinau; at the time of the arrest he was returning to Moldova from a failed meeting with an alleged buyer in Turkey. [15] Investigators reportedly also determined that the Turkish courier had been backed by Oleg Kalugine, director of a company located in Tiraspol, the capital of Transdniestria. [16] In the French case, it was established that the material had been brought to Paris from Romania likely via Moldova where Victor Cheban, a contact of the Romanian intermediary, resided. [17] The similar geographical pattern of these three cases does not seem to be a coincidence; it also points to the involvement of the same group of sellers or middlemen based in or working through Transdniestria.

HEU and Plutonium on the Loose?

In order to acquire nuclear material, terrorists could either target facilities that are vulnerable to theft or seek to purchase material that has already been stolen but not recovered by authorities. [18] In the early to mid-1990s, criminals took advantage of security lapses at underfunded Russian nuclear facilities to steal nuclear materials, including HEU and plutonium. Since then, considerable progress has been achieved in preventing and deterring thefts. The probability that a “significant quantity” of HEU or plutonium could be stolen is gradually decreasing, and in this regard the recent record of HEU trafficking is encouraging. Analysis of the HEU trafficking that took place during the last decade shows that the materials seized could be traced to only two thefts, the latest of which occurred before 2000. [19] Information available on the Moldovan case so far is scant; it does not provide enough clues to determine whether or not the material emanated from a new theft. If the sample was supplied by the sellers of the Rousse and Paris samples, then the chances it originated from an old batch of HEU stolen in the 1990s would be quite high.

While known trafficking cases have not demonstrated fresh evidence of vulnerabilities in the security of HEU or plutonium, there are indications that not all stolen HEU has been recovered. Information on almost every known HEU or plutonium trafficking investigation was accompanied by allegations of more material available for sale, but in most of these cases the credibility of such allegations is difficult to establish. One could perhaps single out three groups of cases where allegations of a larger quantity available for sale could not be easily dismissed. In this regard, the Rousse and Paris cases are of particular concern, because the results of nuclear forensic analyses and criminal investigations indicate that the small quantities of the HEU seized were likely samples of a much larger lot, [20] total amount of which could be estimated at about 4 kg or more. [21] Small amounts of HEU seized in Georgia in 2003, 2006 and 2010 also appear to be samples of a bigger stash, because they represented presumably the same material (HEU with an enrichment level of 89-90% 235U), which must have been supplied by the same sellers, as the material’s packaging pattern suggests. [22] Sellers of the HEU seized in the series of cases in Germany and the Czech Republic in 1994-1995 also appear to have been capable of supplying additional quantities of HEU; [23] that leak was likely plugged, because no such material has ever been seen again in nuclear trafficking. [24]

The claim made by Moldovan smugglers that they could provide more HEU and plutonium is difficult to assess. There are reasons for both belief and skepticism. On the one hand, Moldovan investigators confirmed that they believed no more than 1 kg of HEU remained in the hands of criminals. Also, if the material was supplied by the sellers who supplied the HEU seized in Rousse and Paris, then the sellers’ ability to provide more HEU should be taken seriously. On the other hand, smugglers in Moldova wanted to sell the sample. Selling a sample for a considerable amount of money before agreeing on the delivery of the larger quantity is an indication that the sellers were probably bluffing. In such cases, sellers claim that in selling the sample they want to gauge the buyer’s “purchasing power” before engaging in a more serious deal. The real reason, however, is often that with no additional material to offer, the sellers want to make the most out of what little they possess, because they know that the sample alone is not worth anything. This alone does not refute the possibility of a larger quantity. The idea of selling the sample, instead of giving it away for free or in exchange for a deposit, could have belonged to the arrested group of middlemen eager to hit the jackpot. Thus, the question of the availability of additional quantities of the HEU sample seized in Moldova remains open.

The sellers’ claim that they had plutonium available for sale is also hard to evaluate. It is equally difficult to determine what kind of plutonium the smugglers were talking about, as plutonium can be encountered in various applications. It can be used in nuclear weapons or, mixed with uranium oxide, as fuel in light water or fast reactors. Plutonium can also be part of sealed radioactive sources, such as smoke detectors, static eliminators, calibration or check sources, or, in a mixture with beryllium, applied in well-logging neutron sources.

In the history of nuclear trafficking there have been more offers of plutonium for sale than actual plutonium seized. Along with uranium, plutonium is perceived to be one of the most valuable illegal commodities among all nuclear and radiological materials, because every nuclear smuggler has read or heard that plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons. But very few of them would be able to tell what quantity and quality of plutonium is required for weapons uses, because most smugglers exposed to date either know the subject very superficially or are entirely technically ignorant. Also, there are those who intentionally distort information about the material they offer for sale and call it plutonium to attract gullible buyers, because they know that very few buyers would be able to verify the type of material they were purchasing, let alone identify its isotopic composition.

So far, the majority of illicit trafficking cases where “plutonium” was offered for sale actually involved sealed radioactive sources, other radioisotopes, or even non-radioactive materials. Only two known cases involved dangerous forms of plutonium. In May 1994, 6.2 grams of plutonium of suspected military origin [25] was found in the garage belonging to a businessman in Tengen, Germany, and in August 1994, 363 grams of mixed plutonium-uranium oxide (MOX) powder were seized from smugglers at the Munich International Airport upon their arrival from Moscow.

Despite the lack of evidence on cases of plutonium trafficking since 1994, the offer of this material for sale by Moldovan smugglers does not sound fantastical. There are nuclear facilities where both HEU and plutonium materials are handled, and in the past both materials are known to have been stolen from such facilities and marketed by the same sellers. For example, the seller, who provided the “Prague smugglers” with HEU in 1994 is also believed to have supplied traffickers arrested in Munich with MOX material. [26] Also if the “Moldovan” HEU was supplied by the sellers of the Rousse and Paris HEU, then the availability of plutonium for sale should not be ruled out. Sellers of the Rousse and Paris HEU might have had access to plutonium because the containers, which they used to package HEU samples, were even better suited for the transportation of plutonium samples. The paraffin wax inside them was doped with hydrogen, which is an effective blocker of the neutrons emitted by plutonium.

End-Users, Re-Sellers or “Fake” Buyers?

The existence of buyers interested in weapons-useable nuclear material is always troubling, especially if buyers come from a volatile region where terrorist organizations operate. Many known incidents of nuclear and radiological trafficking were accompanied by allegations of the presence of buyers, who were often portrayed to be end-users. The overwhelming majority of such allegations, however, were not credible. A number of cases have occurred which involved intermediary buyers, or re-sellers, who were interested in investing in nuclear or radiological material in the expectation of substantial re-sale profit. However, such expectations could seldom be fulfilled. The sequence of illegal transactions in nuclear trafficking often resembles a financial pyramid: the farther the re-seller is placed in the chain of transactions, the lower his chances are to sell the material with profit. But complex, multi-stage sales chains are a rarity. More often than not, original sellers find it impossible to find even a single buyer.

Nevertheless, ultimate buyers, or end-users, of nuclear materials, especially fissile materials, exist. The interest of terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda, in acquiring a nuclear weapons capability is well known. Therefore, information alleging the presence of buyers for fissile material is always a cause of concern. In almost every seizure of illicitly trafficked HEU or plutonium since 1992, real buyers have been alleged, but so far, only two cases of HEU trafficking are known to have involved individuals (other than undercover operatives) who were interested in purchasing the materials. In 1994, a group offering for sale 2.73 kg of 87.8% HEU in the Czech Republic established contact with several prospective buyers, but failed to strike a deal with any of them. [27] Those buyers were not related to terrorist groups. In 2003, an Armenian courier arrested at the Georgian-Armenian border was supposed to deliver a sample of about 170 grams of 89% HEU to a person in Turkey, who was believed to be a buyer or connected to buyers. [28] The intentions and allegiances of the Turkish buyer are not known.

In the Moldovan case, Vitaliy Briceag, Head of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Criminal Investigations, said during the press conference on 29 June 1999 that the smugglers arrested in Chisinau were in contact with a Muslim citizen of an unnamed North African country who was interested in buying the material. [29] A buyer story coming from official sources undoubtedly deserves attention, thus, the possibility that there was someone interested in buying the uranium should not be dismissed. Looking at the suspects, however, it is hard to believe that they were able to make contact with an end-user. If the North African man existed, more likely he was a hopeful re-seller, or a person who was supposed to act as another intermediary looking for buyers abroad.

Alternatively, he could have been another undercover agent. Such a scenario was alluded to in a New York Times article by Andrew Kramer, where he referenced unnamed police sources who claimed it was an undercover security agent who had posed as a North African “buyer.” [30] In this regard it is worth recalling that the Moldovan investigation was aided by the United States, Germany and Ukraine, [31] which suggests that one of these countries may have conducted its own investigation with the use of an undercover agent. In this case, Moldovan authorities would be obliged to protect the sources of initial intelligence and the role of a foreign secret service against accusations of provoking illegal importation of nuclear material. Besides, the story about the buyer would also protect Moldovan authorities themselves against similar accusations. In sum, both scenarios are possible.

Conclusions

Analysis of the cases of illicit trafficking in HEU and plutonium, using information available from open sources, does not provide any evidence that new batches of HEU or plutonium were stolen during the last decade, which may be a symptom of the improved security of these materials. The cases also show, however, that weapons-useable nuclear material, and especially HEU, remains in illicit circulation from thefts that presumably occurred in the 1990s. Therefore, this HEU should be considered as potentially available for terrorists, possibly in the quantity sufficient for the production of a crude nuclear explosive device, as information on the Rousse case implies. Information available so far on the seizure of HEU in Moldova is limited, but it indicates that the material may have been supplied by the same sellers who provided HEU samples seized in Rousse and Paris. The Moldova case also shows that the possibility that sellers could provide more uranium and plutonium for sale should not be ruled out. Therefore, priority should be given to intensifying efforts to locate and recover the weapons-useable nuclear material which is still at large.

Terrorists are known to have shown interest in acquiring nuclear materials for building a nuclear weapon. So far, however, no open source evidence links terrorist organizations with the known cases of illicit trafficking in HEU or plutonium. While buyers have been involved in several cases, they do not appear to have been probable end-users. The credibility of claims alleging the presence of a person from North Africa interested in buying the HEU smuggled to Moldova cannot be unequivocally established. Although weapons-useable nuclear material, and particularly HEU, is still within reach of terrorist groups, analysis of the HEU and plutonium trafficking cases suggests that the types of suppliers and middlemen involved in these cases would find it hard to connect with terrorist organizations. The main challenge lies in establishing appropriate connections and trust between the trafficking actors and terrorists, because the price of a mistake might affect the very existence of the terrorist group. Establishing such connections would be difficult, but not impossible.

Overall, it could be concluded that while HEU appears to be available for terrorists, possibly even in the quantity sufficient for the production of one crude nuclear explosive device, so far open sources have not offered any evidence that actors involved in the known HEU trafficking cases have the capability to connect with terrorist organizations. That said, a layer of nuclear trafficking where more sophisticated players operate may remain undetected and/or exist outside the radar screen of the mass media. Certain organized crime groups are said to have already established links with terrorists. [32] If terrorists manage to find a trusted criminal group in possession of, or capable of providing, HEU or plutonium in a quality and quantity sufficient for the production of a crude nuclear explosive device, the prospect of a nuclear 9/11 could become a reality.

Sources:
[1] The amount of HEU or plutonium sufficient for the production of one nuclear explosive device could be different, depending on their nuclear properties. For example, one would need a greater amount of uranium enriched to 80% 235U than uranium enriched to 90% 235U. IAEA has introduced a term significant quantity (SQ), which is defined as “the approximate amount of nuclear material for which the possibility of manufacturing a nuclear explosive device cannot be excluded”. For plutonium containing less than 80% 238Pu, it is 8 kg, and for uranium, which content of 235U is equal or more than 20%, it is 25 kg (Source: IAEA Safeguards Glossary, 2001 Edition, International Nuclear Verification Series No. 3, www-pub.iaea.org.)
[2] The following are the previous 16 known confiscations of HEU and plutonium (weapons- or fuel-grade; Pu sources are not included): 1) May 1992, Podolsk (Russia), 1.5 kg of 90% HEU; 2) July 1993, Andreeva Guba (Russia), 3.6 kg of 36% HEU; 3) November 1993, Polyarniy (Russia), 4.5 kg of 20+% HEU; 4) March 1994, St. Petersburg (Russia), 3 kg of 90% HEU; 5) May 1994, Tengen (Germany), 6.2 g of 99% Pu-239; 6) June 1994, Landshut (Germany), 0.8 g of 87.8% HEU; 7) August 1994, Munich (Germany), 363 g of MOX (Pu-U); 8) December 1994, Prague (Czech Republic), 2.73 kg of 87.8% HEU; 9) June 1995, Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic), 16.9 g of 87.8% HEU; 10) June 1995, Prague (Czech Republic), 0.415 g of 87.8% HEU; 11) June 1995, Moscow (Russia), 1.7 kg of 21% HEU; 12) June 1999, Rousse (Bulgaria), 4 g of 72.7% HEU; 13) July 2001, Paris (France), 0.5 g of 72.7% HEU; 14) June 2003, Sadakhlo (Georgia), 170 g of 89% HEU; 15) February 2006, Tbilisi (Georgia), 100 g of 89% HEU; and 16) March 2010, Tbilisi (Georgia), 16 g of 89% HEU.
[3] This part of the case summary is based on the following press reports: "Six Moldovan 'uranium smugglers' arrested," BBC, June 29, 2011, www.bbc.co.uk, "Six people arrested in Moldova over bomb-grade uranium," The Telegraph, June 29, 2011, www.telegraph.co.uk, Desmond Butler, "Officials say crime ring has uranium," Associated Press, September 27, 2011, www.guardian.co.uk.
[4] "Uraniu in Moldova pentru Africa. Un kilogram costa intre 20 si 100 de millioane de Euro," VIDEO, PRO TC, June 29, 2011, www.protv.md.
[5] Desmond Butler, "Officials say crime ring has uranium," Associated Press, September 27, 2011, www.guardian.co.uk.
[6] Andrew E. Kramer, "Arrests in Moldova over possible uranium smuggling," The New York Times, June 29, 2011, www.nytimes.com.
[7] "Genprokuratura Moldovy napravila v sud delo po prodazhe urana," Komsomolskaya Pravda v Moldove, September 6, 2011, https://kp.md.
[8] To see the picture of the container with HEU seized in Bulgaria, refer to: Ross Williams, Actinide Mass Spectrometry for Nuclear Forensics and Safeguards, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL-PRES-422759, www.ornl.gov. To see the picture of the container with HEU seized in Moldova, refer to: URANIU in Moldova pentru Africa. Un kilogram costa intre 20 si 100 de milioane de Euro., Pro TV, July 12, 2011, www.protv.md. To see the picture of the container with HEU seized in Paris, refer to: S. Baude et al, The French Response in Cases of Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: Lessons Learned from a Real Case, IAEA-CN-154/062, International Conference on Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: Collective Experience and the Way Forward/ organized by the IAEA …[et al], held in Edinburgh, November 19-22, 2007, www-pub.iaea.org, pages 369-37.
[9] S. Niemeyer et al, "Forensic Analysis of a smuggled HEU sample interdicted in Bulgaria," Karlsruhe Conference, 2002, and S. Baude et al, "The French Response in Cases of Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: Lessons Learned from a Real Case," Edinburgh Conference, 2007.
[10] To see the picture of the internal organization of the container with HEU seized in Bulgaria, refer to: Ross Williams, Actinide Mass Spectrometry for Nuclear Forensics and Safeguards, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL-PRES-422759, www.ornl.gov. To see the picture of the container with HEU seized in Paris, refer to: S. Baude et al, "The French Response in Cases of Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: Lessons Learned from a Real Case," IAEA-CN-154/062, Edinburgh Conference, 2007, www-pub.iaea.org, page 369.
[11] "Uraniu in Moldova pentru Africa. Un kilogram costa intre 20 si 100 de millioane de Euro," VIDEO, PRO TC, June 29, 2011, www.protv.md.
[12] American nuclear forensic experts concluded that the container seized in Rousse had been cast in crude mould, probably by hand (Source: Kenton J. Moody, Ian D. Hutcheon, Patrick M. Grant, Nuclear Forensic Analysis, CRC Press, Pub. 2005.).
[13] Open sources on results of nuclear forensic analysis of the HEU sample seized in Paris include: Kenton J. Moody, Ian D. Hutcheon, Patrick M. Grant, Nuclear Forensic Analysis, CRC Press, Pub. 2005., S. Niemeyer, I. Hutcheon, Forensic Analysis of a smuggled HEU sample interdicted in Bulgaria, International Conference on Advances in Destructive and Non-Destructive Analysis for Environmental Monitoring and Nuclear Forensics/ organized by the IAEA… [et al], held in Karlsruhe, Germany, October 23-23, 2002, and Ross Williams, Actinide Mass Spectrometry for Nuclear Forensics and Safeguards, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL-PRES-422759, www.ornl.gov.
Open sources on the results of nuclear forensic analysis of the Paris sample include: S. Baude et al, The French Response in Cases of Illicit Nuclear Trafficking: Lessons Learned from a Real Case, IAEA-CN-154/062, pages 363-371, Edinburgh Conference, 2007 and S. Baude, HEU Seized in July 2001 in Paris: Analytical investigations performed on the material, IAEA-CN-154/009, pages 397-398, Edinburgh Conference, 2007, www-pub.iaea.org.
[14] "Uraniul de contrabanda avea ca destinatie Africa! Trei suspecti raman de negasit," Pro TV, July 12, 2011, www.protv.md.
[15] Mariya Nikolaeva, "Uranium Smuggling Investigated in Bulgaria," 168 Chasa, December 8, 2000.
[16] Information provided to a CNS contractor by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations Office and the International Organizations in Vienna, 2011.
[17] Ibid.
[18] A scenario whereby terrorists could receive the material from a friendly state or from individuals with access to nuclear materials and technologies, who are sympathetic to their cause, is also relevant but is beyond the scope of this brief.
[19] Information available from open sources and interviews conducted with officials who participation in HEU trafficking investigations suggests that HEU samples seized in Bulgaria and France can be traced to one, possibly two thefts, and HEU samples seized in Georgia to one theft.
[20] Information provided to a CNS contractor by the Portuguese Judiciary Police, Northern Directory, who conducted investigation into the role of a Portuguese middlemen involved in the Paris case, February 2011.
[21] The Paris peddlers were asking 130,000 French Francs (approximately 26000 US Dollars as of July 2001) per gram of the material and their reward was to be USD 5,000,000, which must have amounted to between 0.5 to 5% of the total price of the deal – the common middlemen’s share in nuclear trafficking (Sources: Paris Court of First Instance, Judgment of 6 May 2003, and Portuguese Judiciary Police, Northern Directory, February 2011).
[22] To see the picture of the plastic bags containing HEU seized in Georgia in 2006, refer to: Julian Borger, "Nuclear smuggling: Armenia arrests suspected supplier," The Guardian, November 8, 2010, www.guardian.co.uk. To see the picture of the plastic bag containing HEU seized in Georgia in 2010, refer to: Julian Borger, "Nuclear bomb material found for sale on Georgia black market," The Guardian, November 7, 2010, www.guardian.co.uk. As for the plastic bags containing HEU seized in Georgia in 2003, according to Georgian authorities, they looked identical to those seized in 2006 and 2010 (Information was provided by officials of the Georgian Interior Ministry, August 2010).
[23] Prague Supreme Court, Judgment of 27-28 April 1998.
[24] In 1996, the US Senate Subcommittee on Investigations confirmed reports that the HEU seized in the Czech Republic and Germany in 1994 were part of a 10-kg cache. The remaining 7 kg was reportedly seized by the Russian security forces. (Source: Hearing on global proliferation of WMD, Staff statement, Senate Permanent subcommittee on investigations, Committee on governmental affairs, March 22, 1996.)
[25] According to some reports, plutonium was alloyed with gallium to stabilize 239Pu for use in a nuclear warhead (Source: McGraw Hill, NuclearFuel, 1994-07-18, Mark Hibbs, Nucleonics Week, 1994-08-25).
[26] Eric Nadler, Presentation at special weapons materials workshop, University of Pittsburgh, 9 July 1997, and Loose Nukes, Frontline Show # 1504, PBS, November 19, 1996; www.pbs.org.
[27] Prague Supreme Court, Judgment of 10 September 1997 and Judgment of 27-28 April 1998.
[28] Alexander Kupatadze, "Organized Crime and The Trafficking of Radiological Materials: The Case of Georgia, Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 17, No. 2, July 2010, www.nonproliferation.org.
[29] "Six Moldovan 'uranium smugglers' arrested," BBC, June 29, 2011, www.bbc.co.uk.
[30] Andrew E. Kramer, "Arrests in Moldova over possible uranium smuggling," The New York Times, June 29, 2011, www.nytimes.com.
[31] "Six Moldovan 'uranium smugglers' arrested," BBC, June 29, 2011, www.bbc.co.uk.
[32] Glenn E. Schweitzer, The Nexus of International Organized Crime and Terrorism. The Case of Dirty Bomb, Testimony to the Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attacks of the Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives, September 22, 2005, www.nti.org.

December 11, 2011
About

This articles discusses ongoing issues surrounding the illicit trafficking of HEU and plutonium, examining the recent Moldovan case in detail.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.