Senior Director, Materials Risk Management
In a new post for Harvard's Nuclear Security Matters forum, Samantha Pitts-Kiefer describes a key truth about non-state actors wishing to inflict mass casualties: "Terrorists wishing to steal the material needed to build a crude nuclear device care little how that material is characterized; they will go wherever the material is the least secure to obtain it."
A common misconception is that weapons-usable nuclear materials classified as "military" are most secure than civilian materials. These military materials–comprising 85 percent of the global weapons-usable nuclear material inventory–are also susceptible to theft. "If an 84-year-old nun can break into the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee—considered the most secure nuclear facility housing military materials in the United States—what could a group of armed terrorists, aided by a complicit or unwitting insider, do?" asks Pitts-Kiefer.
Read the piece for steps states can take to secure military materials.
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A new international study group tackles the 85 percent of materials outside of international security mechanisms.
NTI experts will participate in the 61st Institute of Nuclear Materials Management’s (INMM) Annual Meeting, to be held virtually from July 12-16, 2020.
On Sep. 12, the German Marshall Fund of the United States will be hosting a discussion on the findings from "Building Mutual Security in the Euro-Atlantic Region."