Nuclear Terrorism

The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe

Graham Allison

Times Books

From Nuclear Terrorism:
-Every day 30,000 trucks, 6,500 rail cars, and 140 ships deliver more than 50,000 cargo containers into the United States, but only 5 percent ever get screened. But even this screening, which rarely involves physical inspection, may not detect nuclear weapons or fissile material.

- There are approximately 130 nuclear research reactors in 40 countries. Two dozen of these
have enough highly enriched uranium for one or more nuclear bombs.

- If terrorists bought or stole a complete weapon, they could set it off immediately. If instead they bought fissile material, they could build a crude but working nuclear bomb within a year.

- In Russia, 10,000 nuclear warheads and fissile material for 30,000 additional weapons remain vulnerable to theft.

- Pakistan's black marketers, led by the country's leading nuclear scientist, A. Q. Khan, have sold comprehensive "nuclear starter kits" that included advanced centrifuge components, blueprints for nuclear warheads, uranium samples in quantities sufficient to make a small bomb, and even provided personal consulting services to assist nuclear development.