19.01.2016_No12 / News in Brief

Index Highlights ‘Vulnerable Nations’ For Nuclear Security

Security & Safety

19 Jan (NucNet): Of the 24 countries that had nuclear stockpiles of at least 1kg in 2015, Iran and North Korea are the worst in the world at securing these from theft, according to an index from the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Among the safest countries are Australia, Switzerland, Canada and Poland. Globally, progress is being made, but it is slowing, the index shows. A dozen countries have eliminated their stockpiles, but only Uzbekistan has done so since the 2014 index. Several countries have increased their stockpiles in that time, including India, Japan, the Netherlands, North Korea, Pakistan, and Britain. Almost 2,000 tonnes of weapons-usable nuclear materials remain stored around the world. There is also a growing risk of sabotage by a number of methods which includes cyberattacks, the index shows. Around 45 countries have some form of nuclear facilities, and would be vulnerable to a radiological leak on the same scale as the Fukushima-Daiichi accident. The most vulnerable nations are, again, Iran and North Korea. Of the countries with nuclear facilities, developing countries with new nuclear programmes such Egypt and Algeria are least secure. Details online: http://ntiindex.org

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David Dalton

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