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Nuclear terrorism is for real, says Chinese daily

China,Terrorism, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 IANS

Beijing, March 29 (IANS) Compared to potential threats from nuclear states, nuclear terrorism is a more urgent threat, the online edition of China's People's Daily warned Thursday.


As the world was increasingly relying on nuclear energy, terrorism risks in nuclear power stations and nuclear facilities were also increasing, the paper said.


While over 1,000 nuclear facilities were supervised and protected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there were facilities that were not covered by IAEA, it said.


"Therefore, the source of nuclear smuggling has not been completely blocked."


It pointed out that the loss of nuclear materials and nuclear matters


caused by national unrest and regional conflicts had become more and more serious.


The turmoil in the Middle East and the situation in Iraq and Iran "may lead to the loss of nuclear materials and nuclear matters into the hands of individuals.


"Once the terrorists obtain nuclear weapons, the nuclear disaster facing humanity will come," it said.


The daily said the IAEA had recorded more than 1,500 incidents of loss or theft of nuclear and other radioactive material between 1993 and 2008 when the global financial crisis occurred.


It also recorded more than 1,600 incidents of nuclear smuggling during the period, over 20 of which involved the smuggling of nuclear material that was enough to build a simple atom bomb.


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