سوموار، 2 اپریل، 2012
Seoul Summit 2012
The writher is a retired Air Commodore and former assistant chief of air staff of the Pakistan . At present, he is a member of the visiting faculty at the PAF Air War College, Naval War College and Quaid-i-Azam University.
Courtesy: The Nation Newspaper
IAEA`s information system "Illicit Trafficiking Data Base" (TTDB), reported 56 cases related to illicit trafficking of nuclear materials during 2011, none occurred in Pakistan. Credit goes to the National Command Authority, professional level even the worst enemies of Pakistan`s nuclear weaponprogramme acknowledge its impeccable security and high standards of sefety.
During the Seoul Summit, world leaders called for strong action to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism. “Nuclear terrorism continues to be one of the most challenging threats to international security…….Defeating this threat requires strong national measures and international cooperation,” said the Seoul communiqué. The summit has urged all countries to accede to international conventions on protecting fissile material, and reaffirmed the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Meanwhile, the participating states tried to create a synergy in their effort towards nuclear security by sharing the best practices.
“At least four terror groups…….have expressed determination to lay hands on a nuclear weapon,” said Kenneth Luongo, the Co-Chair of Fissile Materials Working Group, a Washington-based coalition of nuclear security experts. The nuclear materials stored at research facilities, healthcare centres, power plants etc, are generally considered less secure than weapons at military installations. Last year's meltdown at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant also shows how terrorists could launch a radiation hazard simply by sabotaging a facility's functions.
The materials used to make nuclear bombs are stored in different buildings spread across dozens of countries. Even if a fraction of it falls in the hands of terrorists, it could be disastrous. Evidence by Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB) indicates that it is much easier to possess, steal and traffic materials for Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDDs), or ‘dirty bomb’; these devices can be assembled with relative ease. Building a nuclear weapon is not easy, but a bomb similar to the one that destroyed Hiroshima is "very plausibly within the capabilities of a sophisticated terrorist group," according to Matthew Bunn, an Associate Professor at Harvard University.
The participants of the first Nuclear Security Summit in Washington were able to evolve an international consensus about the seriousness of this threat; they agreed to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide by the end of 2014. The Washington Summit underlined the need for putting in place minimum security standards for all nuclear reactors, plants, hospitals and research laboratories.
Likewise, the Seoul Summit focused on a framework of 11 core issues: Global nuclear security architecture; role of the IAEA; nuclear materials; radioactive sources; nuclear security and safety; transportation security; combating illicit trafficking; nuclear forensics; nuclear security culture; information security; and international cooperation. The summit agreed to work on securing and accounting for all nuclear material by 2014. While the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 calls upon member states to adopt “effective, appropriate” security standards, and the IAEA shares appropriate best practices, the summit has attempted to provide operational mechanism for implementing these generalities.
While the threat of nuclear terrorism has considerably reduced than a decade ago, the nightmare scenario of a terrorist exploding a nuclear bomb in a major city is not necessarily a farfetched stuff. The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a Washington-based non-proliferation group that tracks the security of world nuclear stockpiles, said in a January report that “32 countries have weapons-usable nuclear materials.” Some countries, such as the United States, maintain strict control already. However others, including former Soviet Republics, have struggled to secure their stocks, raising fears of "loose nukes" falling into the hands of terrorist groups.
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