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Contact: President Brooke Buddemeier

Interdiction & Security Working Group

Foreign or domestic terrorist organizations may attempt to import, smuggle or transport radioactive materials into or across the United States.

Materials that are entering our borders or moving within the public or commercial transportation system may be detected and intercepted by administrative and/or engineered systems designed to detect the presence of ionizing radiation, or by using gamma/ x rays inspection systems or other inspection devices to examine vehicle or marine shipments and containers for telltale signs of nuclear devices or concealed/shielded items. This process is called "interdiction".

Tighter controls on possession, use, inventory, transport and disposal of radioactive materials makes it more difficult for the material to be stolen or diverted into terrorist uses. This is referred to as "source control" and is an element in the interdiction process.

Interdiction also relies heavily on international and domestic intelligence gathering and other methods of determining the intent, tactics, and behaviors of terrorist groups attempting to utilize radiological or nuclear weapons.

The members of the Interdiction & Security Working Group are:

William (Rusty) Lorenzen, (william.lorenzen@childrens.harvard.edu), Chair
Charlie Brannon
Michael Albanese
Nathan Smith
John Hageman
Thomas F. O'Connell

Interdiction and Nuc-Security News

Cargo container supposedly containing scrap metal at a port in Italy found to emit high levels of radiation from Cobalt-60

2 stories on suspicious containers in Seattle: Story 1, Story 2

Wikileaks documents identify an al Qaeda operative sought to use expertise in shipping to smuggle biological and nuclear weapons into the United States in ocean containers

Senators Collins, Murray Introduce Bill To Extend Port Protections, Anti-Terrorism Act

New York Times article on keeping the Northern Borders Protected from Terrorists

This video is a demonstration of radiation security tools. It integrates networked radiation monitoring with video surveillance and other security technologies to secure radiological facilities and enhance first responder procedures. The HPS does not endorse these products and is providing this information as available technology.

IAEA document: Security of Radioactive Sources, Nuclear Security Series No.11

New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5061-risk-of-radioactive-dirty-bomb-growing.html

BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7960466.stm

Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/2700195/Terror-groups-developing-dirty-bomb-say-security-chiefs.html

Public Broadcast Corp. Loose Nucs: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/nukes/

Scientific American Detecting Nuclear Smuggling: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=detecting-nuclear-smuggling

Continuing Education

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security: http://www.chds.us/

San Diego State Univ. San Diego State Univ. Masters Program in Homeland Security: http://homelandsecurity.sdsu.edu/

Breyer University: http://www.breyerstate.com/masters-homeland-security.htm

Pennsylvania State: http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/MasterinHomelandSecurity.shtml

Eastern Kentucky University: http://www.homelandsecurity.eku.edu/

Anna Maria College offers an online Master of Public Administration with a Homeland Security Specialization: http://online.annamaria.edu/mpa/homeland-security-specialization-overview.

Website References

Individual members of the Society have suggested these websites as useful references for additional information on the subject of interdiction of radiological and nuclear materials:

The International Atomic Energy Agency published a manual to aid officials worldwide who have a role in detecting or responding to nuclear terror-related incidents. (2.43 MB PDF)

The Nuclear Threat Initiative is working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and is cochaired by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn.

The Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (called the "CI Centre") is a nongovernmental centers providing expert counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and security training, education, analysis, and consulting.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has prepared a number of documents on nuclear security and safety (IAEA on Nuclear Safety and Security). Categorization is used to ensure that the most hazardous sources are used and stored under appropriate levels of security (IAEA Categorization of Radioactive Sources). This IAEA document discusses a code of conduct for security of radioactive sources (IAEA Code of Conduct on Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources [Jan. 2004]).

"Orphan Sources" refer to sources that have been lost, stolen, or abandoned. Such sources could be diverted into terrorist or other inappropriate uses. The Society has published a position paper on the subject (State and Federal Action Is Needed for Better Control of Orphan Sources and Background Information).

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission discusses nuclear security enhancements that have been implemented as a result of the 9/11 attacks (Nuclear Security Enhancements since September 11, 2001).

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) is a jointly staffed agency within the Department of Homeland Security. DNDO is the primary entity in the U.S. government for implementing domestic nuclear detection efforts for a managed and coordinated response to radiological and nuclear threats, as well as integration of federal nuclear forensics programs. Additionally, DNDO is charged with coordinating the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture, with partners from federal, state, local, and international governments and the private sector.