Steve Ansul

Cómo mejorar la seguridad de los materiales nucleares

VIENA – Durante los últimos años, los líderes mundiales han dedicado cada vez más atención al riesgo de que terroristas obtengan materiales nucleares u otros materias radioactivos. Esa es la buena noticia. Pero todos nosotros tenemos que actuar con mayor urgencia en convertir dichas buenas intenciones en acciones concretas.

El riesgo de que los materiales nucleares u otros materiales radioactivos caigan en las manos equivocadas es muy real. Hemos presenciado bochornosas fallas de seguridad en instalaciones nucleares y a menudo la protección que se brinda a los materiales delicados es inadecuada. De hecho, cada año el Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica (OIEA) registra numerosos casos de robo y de otras actividades no autorizadas relacionadas con materiales nucleares y radiactivos. La mayoría de estos incidentes son de poca importancia, pero algunos son más graves. Dichos incidentes graves involucran desaparición de materiales que nunca más se vuelven a encontrar.

Un incidente ocurrido en Moldavia hace dos años relacionado a uranio altamente enriquecido – que se puede utilizar en un arma nuclear – ilustra dos aspectos, tanto la magnitud de la amenaza como la posibilidad de aplicar medidas correctivas eficaces, si los países toman en serio el problema. La policía incautó una cantidad de sustancia de una persona quien estaba tratando de venderla. Los contrabandistas habían tratado de evadir la detección mediante la construcción de un contenedor blindado – lo que puso en evidencia que dichos contrabandistas habían alcanzado un nivel preocupante de sofisticación.

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