The issue of smuggling of nuclear material from the former states of the soviet union

Now, new independent states have replaced it, and all of them are witnessing the impacts of a realignment of sovereignty and the transition to new political, social, and economic forms. While long-term stability is the goal of each of the successor countries, such difficulties as economic decline, loss of social safety nets, growth of organized crime, increased ethnic conflicts, and widespread social anxieties currently characterize many of the fragmented parts of the former Soviet Union FSU.

At present, it is believed that Russia has more than 5, operational long range "strategic" and short range "tactical" nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

In recent years, a number of cases of illicit trafficking of HEU or plutonium from nuclear facilities in the FSU have been documented, including approximately 15 incidents in alone. Heightening security at the borders of these states is a critical second step toward a layered defense against nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation and terrorism.

The issue of smuggling of nuclear material from the former states of the soviet union

It would only take approximately four kilograms of plutonium-enough to fill a can of Coca-Cola-or 20 kilograms of HEU to build a significant sized nuclear weapon. For instance, former Iraqi officials made overtures to a Ukrainian institution that possessed pounds of HEU.

They were also reportedly pursuing trade deals with other FSU companies. In many cases, these nations have borders that are thousands of miles long and national governments that often do not have the ability to monitor, patrol, or secure them.

The programs provide export control assistance, including assisting in the development of licensing procedures and establishing legal and regulatory frameworks, or in strengthening border controls by providing equipment and training to prevent, deter, detect and investigate the trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials.

While the programs have made some progress in reducing the proliferation threat, it is clear that increased efforts are necessary, as well as improved means to measure the successes to date of these efforts.

There are still long stretches of FSU borders that are poorly monitored and export control enforcement continues to lag in some countries. That report notes, "Many analysts contend that coordination problems remain today, even though each of the three key agencies - DOD, DOE and State - funds and manages its own projects.

The FSU states have very limited resources for this work, which is extremely important to the security of America and its friends and allies. Moreover, the United States has-and for only a few million dollars a year can provide-the equipment, expertise, and legal and regulatory experience that are essential for effective border control programs.

Failure to do so increases the chance that a terrorist or hostile state will be able to smuggle nuclear or radiological material out of these countries and build a weapon of mass destruction or radiological dispersal device.

Have there been any prominent successes in these programs?


Yes, a number of attempts to smuggle nuclear materials out of the FSU have been prevented by improved border security efforts. The earlier WMD smuggling attempts are detected, the greater the likelihood that we can prevent a terrorist attack using WMD.

Also, US export control assistance programs have helped lay the legal and institutional basis for nuclear, missile and dual-use export controls in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. As a result of US interaction, Russia introduced the principal of "catch-all" export controls in January A "catch-all" clause essentially ensures that there is a legal basis for preventing exports of certain goods and services, even if those goods and services are not on any control lists, if there is reason to suspect that those goods and services will be used to facilitate the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Additionally, the Department of Energy has installed Second Line of Defense nuclear detection equipment at land sites, with plans to increase that number to around by the end of Section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year Public Law mandated a report by the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, describing the roles and responsibilities of each department in US international border security programs and how to increase interagency cooperation.

While that specific provision was not passed, the Department of State Authorities Act of Public Law included provisions of S.The successor states of the former Soviet Union have enormous stocks of weapons-usable nuclear material and other militarily significant commodities and technologies.

Preventing the flow of such items to countries of proliferation concern and to terrorist groups is . In February , in Ottawa, the four major World War II Allies (the United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union), as well as the two Germanys, agreed on a framework for negotiating the unification of Germany.

Trafficking in Nuclear Materials: Criminals and Terrorists Full Article Figures & data Citations Organized crime, Terrorists, Networks, Nuclear smuggling, Former Soviet Union.

The issue of smuggling of nuclear material from the former states of the soviet union

The states of the former Soviet Union, with abundant and lightly guarded medical facilities and research institutes with radioactive materials, have been the.

Smuggling Nuclear Materials in the Former Soviet Union Published on Aug 26, The threat created by the nuclear arsenal in the former Soviet Union, currently in Russia, is considered to be one. Smuggling of uclear Materials in the former Soviet Union According to May (), the debate that began with the emergence of nuclear weapons at the end of World War II continues today including.

Smuggling of Nuclear Material Over the past five years the former states of the Soviet Union haven't been able to prevent the leakage of nuclear material. Nuclear materials and technologies are more accessible now than at any other time in history, due to the breakup of the Soviet Union and.

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