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New NTI Paper Assesses Separated Plutonium as a Terrorist Target and Recommends Steps to Reduce Risks

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Separated plutonium is a sensitive material that presents
both proliferation and nuclear security risks. However, unlike highly enriched
uranium (HEU), separated plutonium has not received sufficient attention
as a security risk, argues NTI Counselor John
Carlson
in a new paper.

Eight countries hold more than 375 metric tons of separated
plutonium, which is produced by
reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuel.

The paper, “Mitigating
Security Risks from Separated Plutonium: Some Near-Term Steps
,” recommends
minimizing stocks and specific actions in production, storage, and use of the
material, including developing a code of conduct.

“Even small quantities [of plutonium] could be of interest
to terrorists if they see opportunities for acquiring plutonium in a number of
locations or for use in a radiological dispersal device,” Carlson says.

To download the paper in PDF Form, click
here
.

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CNS Issue Brief: China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal

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CNS Issue Brief: China-Pakistan Nuclear Deal

Sharad Joshi discusses the motivations behind and implications of China's decision to sell Pakistan two more plutonium-producing heavy-water reactors.




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