Washington Post: We Need To Take The Dirty Bomb Threat Seriously

Sam Nunn and Andrew Bieniawski of Nuclear Threat Initiative recently wrote an important piece for the Washington Post:

Unlike a nuclear weapon, a radioactive dirty bomb would not cause catastrophic levels of death and injury, but depending on its chemistry, form and location, it could leave billions of dollars in damage due to the costs of evacuation, relocation and cleanup — and the inevitable follow-on threats could have severe economic and psychological repercussions. Buildings would likely have to be demolished and the debris removed. Access to a contaminated area could be denied for years as a site is cleaned well enough to meet even minimum environmental guidelines for protecting the public.

The materials that could be used to wreak such havoc are dispersed across thousands of sites in more than 100 countries, and many of them are poorly secured. Concerns about the Islamic State are a powerful reminder of what’s at stake — and should provide impetus for governments, the medical community and industry globally to immediately secure all such materials or replace them with alternative technologies.

Read the full article in the Washington Post.