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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA INSISTS ON BOLSTERING NUCLEAR SECURITY

RIA Novosti

LONDON, March 16 (RIA Novosti) - The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed el-Baradei, does not think that nuclear weapons are likely to end up in the hands of terrorists.

"I deem it unlikely for nuclear weapons to be obtained by terrorists but if this happens, it will have serious repercussions for the international community," he told the international nuclear security conference that opened in London on Wednesday.

Mr. el-Baradei emphasized that there is a danger of nuclear weapons getting in the wrong hands, which is a reason for beefing up the security arrangements at fissile material storage facilities.

He also stressed that nuclear security should be enforced by national governments and that IAEA was ready to offer its assistance in doing so to a number of states. He, however, did not specify which countries were in need of assistance.

Mr. el-Baradei mentioned four ways for fissile materials to be obtained by wrong people - theft, transfer, inadequate use of nuclear energy, and sabotage of vehicles carrying them.

According to him, 100 illegal buys of fissile materials have happened over past several years.

"Although most of operations involving fissile materials are monitored, everybody should remain vigilant," Mr. el-Baradei said.

In his opinion, there are three principal tasks in stemming nuclear proliferation, namely prevention, detection and reaction.

Speaking about prevention, Mr. el-Baradei emphasized that countries should be helped in preventing fissile materials from gaining access to their territory. Inspections and special fissile material accounting programs are needed.

He also stressed that IAEA had been cooperating actively with Russian and the United States, running about seven programs with the two countries.

As far as fissile material detection is concerned, Mr. el-Baradei highlighted the special importance of setting up relevant databases. Hesingled out the cooperation between the Asian Nuclear Security Fund and IAEA in this field.

According to Mr. el-Baradei, fissile material proliferation should be also supervised by means of seminars and enabling specialists to work on site in strict compliance with relevant UN resolutions.



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