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SCI/TECH: Global Stocks of Nuke Bomb Material Growing-Survey

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posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 02:45 AM
Despite recent events the worlds stockpile of both plutonium and enriched uranium is increasing. A recent report by the Science and International Security, which is run by a former U.N. weapons inspector has estimated that there is a global total of 3700 metric tons of both materials spread out over 60 countries. Russia tops the list followed by the United States. Other on the list include Britain, France, China, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and South Africa
VIENNA (Reuters) - The world's stockpiles of plutonium and highly enriched uranium useable in atomic weapons are growing, despite increasing fears about the security of nuclear materials, a U.S. based think-tank says in a new report.

The estimates of civilian and military stocks of plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) -- information treated by most governments as classified -- were prepared by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), run by former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright.

"At the end of 2003, there were more than 3,700 metric tons of plutonium and highly enriched uranium -- uranium enriched to 20 percent or uranium-235 -- enough for hundreds of thousands of nuclear weapons, in about 60 countries," Albright and Kimberly Kramer wrote in an article to be published in the next issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Most of the weapons-useable material is in Russia, followed by the United States.

In response to intelligence reports that terrorists are interested in acquiring nuclear weapons, the United States and Russia are working with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to recover and secure all U.S. and Russian bomb-grade material spread across the globe.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Of biggest concern is the estimate that North Korea has anywhere from 15 to 39 kilograms of Plutonium. Countries like Israel, Pakistan, and India are believed to be increasing their stockpiles. None of these countries have signed the NPT and are not subject to inspections. To make a nuclear device you would need about 10 kilograms of plutonium-239 or 16-25 of Uranium-235 (enriched). What was interesting about the article, was the fact that most of the plutonium is in civilian hands and the military stockpiles are mostly enriched uranium.

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 10:47 AM
In the US, we actually have our incumbent administration, particulary the VP in pitbull bully pulpit mode, saying that we're safer because of their efforts.
This, evidently, does not compute with reality.
Given the supposed laser focus on securing the world from "terror", how is it that the stockpile increases were not issue one in that security blueprint!?! Or even the simple accounting, there of?


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