Thwarting nuclear terrorism

Alexander Glaser, Frank N. Von Hippel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Civilian research reactors contain highly enriched uranium (HEU) that could be used by the terrorists to build nuclear bombs. HEU is a uranium in which uranium 235, the isotope capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction, has been concentrated to levels of 20 percent or more by weight. People have raised credible concerns that suicidal malefactors could penetrate an HEU storage facility, construct a so-called improvised nuclear device and detonate it before security guards could respond. The US and its allies have established programs to bolster security measures, convert reactors to use low-enriched uranium and retrieve HEU from research- reactor sites around the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalScientific American
Volume294
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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