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Author: Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
Publisher: Observer Research Foundation
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
The security of nuclear and radiological materials has been a global concern since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. The threat gained greater traction after the 9/11 terror attacks because of fears that terrorists might acquire such material.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's Incident and Trafficking Database states that between January 1993 and December 2013, there were a total of 2,477 incidents of theft and other unauthorized activities involving nuclear and radioactive material notified to the Agency.
In 2013 alone, there were 146 incidents confirmed in the IAEA database. Thus, there is a renewed effort to strengthen old international rules and regimes as well as to establish new mechanisms. Three nuclear security summits held so far, just on this issue, is recognition of this renewed importance.
India has for long been a victim of terrorism. It has suffered everything from left-wing extremism to separatist insurgency and state-sponsored cross-border terrorism. The Mumbai terror attack offers sufficient evidence of the inclination and capacity of terrorist groups to carry out commando-style attacks on key targets within Indian Territory. With support from Rawalpindi, a terrorist attack on an Indian nuclear installation remains a clear and present danger.
Given the context, we present a comprehensive threat analysis of the nuclear security situation in India, the measures adopted by the Indian nuclear and security establishments in response, strengths and Weaknesses and an overview of the best practices around the world in order to gauge India's nuclear security efforts. The study focuses on potential incidents involving the detonation of a nuclear explosive or use of weaponished nuclear devices, radiological dispersal devices (dirty bomb), and sabotage as well as insider threats to sensitive facilities. While the study focuses largely on the security aspects, the safety of India's nuclear and radiological materials and institutions is also taken into account, considering the existing synergy between the safety and security practices in the nuclear context.
About the Author
List of Abbreviations
1. Nuclear Security: A Primer
2. Threat Analysis
3. India's Nuclear Security: Strengths and Weaknesses
4. Best Practices – UK, France, Japan
a) Public Sector and Industrial Units under DAE
b) Regulatory Inspections in the Nuclear Security Realm in India
c) Sample Questionnaire
d) List of Interviewees