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Why Rad Detection?
Why do we need these radiation monitoring systems?


The following statement comes from the U.S. Domestic Nuclear Defense Office (DNDO). "Covert nuclear attack is the foremost threat facing the United States (U.S.) and is a primary focus of the war on terror.  The safety of the U.S. depends upon its ability to design and field systems to detect and interdict smuggled nuclear weapons and materials.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is chartered to develop, acquire, and support deployment and improvement of a domestic system to detect attempts to import, assemble, or transport a nuclear explosive device, fissile material or radiological material intended for illicit use."  

 

There are many reasons that a nuclear attack is possible. Most are related to the relative increase in loss of control of the fissile materials. Many experts including Dr. Graham Allison in his book "Nuclear Terrorism" and Capt. Steven Flynn in "America the Vulnerable" have stated it is an issue of when not if.

 

Moreover, in addition to nuclear weapons, there are lower concept, easier to make radiological dispersal devices (or dirty bombs) that while less horrific than a nuclear weapon could still cause widespread terror, radioactive contamination and would have significant financial impact on the country. The following bullets summarize the reasons for vigilance and why the United States and other friendly foreign governments are paying attention to this risk and attempting to emplace a variety of instruments, policies and methods to make the possibility of a radiation or nuclear weapon less probable.
 

Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Inventory Buildup in former Soviet Union and the United States

  • Reduction of weapons does not mean reduction of raw and finished materials.
  • 7,300 and 6,000: Approximate number of strategic U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons.
  • 3,500 and 3,000: Approximate number of strategic U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, year 2003 under START II.
  • 1,500-2,000: Approximate number of strategic nuclear weapons suggested as the ceiling for the U.S. and Russia under START III agreement.


Upcoming development of MOX reactor designs.


  • Each fuel element contains sufficient Pu to make a crude weapon.


Collapse of Soviet Union Integrity of their weapons and material safeguards.


  • 400 unclassified reports of illicit trafficking at least 10 involving SNM


New Nuclear Weapons States India, Pakistan


Rogue Nations – Iran, North Korea


9/11/2001 and Terrorism


  • First attempt of terrorists to obtain nuclear weapons was in 1975.
  • 2900 lives lost compared to 70,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki each
  • Estimated Cost $150 Billion, if a nuclear weapon had been used the costs are estimated to be $1.5 Trillion
  • Reduction of weapons does not mean reduction of raw and finished materials.
  • 7,300 and 6,000: Approximate number of strategic U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons.
  • 3,500 and 3,000: Approximate number of strategic U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, year 2003 under START II.
  • 1,500-2,000: Approximate number of strategic nuclear weapons suggested as the ceiling for the U.S. and Russia under START III agreement.
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