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Title: Illicit diversion of nuclear materials.
Authors: Bett, FL
Issue Date: Aug-1975
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: This paper discusses the means of preventing illegal use of nuclear material by terrorists or other sub-national groups and by governments. With respect to sub-national groups, it concludes that the preventative measures of national safeguards systems, when taken together with the practical difficulties of using nuclear material, would make the diversion and illegal use of nuclear material unattractive in comparison with other avenues open to these groups to attain their ends. It notes that there are only certain areas in the nuclear fuel cycle, e.g. production of some types of nuclear fuel embodying highly enriched uranium and shipment of strategically significant nuclear material, which contain material potentially useful to these groups. It also discusses the difficult practical problems e.g. coping with radiation, which would face the groups in making use of the materials for terrorist purposes. Concerning illegal use by Governments, the paper describes the role of international safeguards, as applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the real deterrent effect of these safeguards which is achieved through the requirement to maintain comprehensive operating records of the use of nuclear material and by regular inspections to verify these records. The paper makes the point that Australia would not consider supplying nuclear material unless it were subject to international safeguards.
ISBN: 064299708X
Appears in Collections:Scientific and Technical Reports

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