Image Source: Business Insider.
Some headlines predict the future. On 31 March and 1 April 2016, the Nuclear Security Summit took place in Washington DC, attended by representatives of several countries and international organizations; the summit produced statements and fact sheets on nuclear terrorism (here). In March, the Harvard Kennedy School's Project on Managing the Atom produced a document on how to stop terrorists from acquiring nuclear materials or a nuclear weapon, Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Continuous Improvement or Dangerous Decline? Also in March, the Nuclear Threat Initiative published its Radiological Security Progress Report: Preventing Dirty Bombs - Fighting Weapons of Mass Disruption.
Belgium's Doel nuclear power station: "A security guard at the Doel nuclear plant in northern Belgium was murdered on Thursday 24 March ." Some reports maintain that there was no connection between the crime and the guard's place of work. Image Source: IB Times.
This week, reports reconfirmed that those involved in the Paris and Brussels terror attacks planned to attack the Belgian nuclear research site at Mol, SCK-CEN, which is a back-end storehouse of radioactive waste. The World Post:
Of even greater concern is the fact that, according to reports from 28 and 29 April 2016, the Belgian government just planned to issue iodine tablets to all of its citizens. According to the BBC, these would be handed out next year. It may be a precautionary measure, or perhaps something has escaped the authorities. Meanwhile in Germany, surgeons are reportedly taking classes on how to operate on massive traumatic injuries, such as those sustained from gunshot wounds and bomb explosions."Belgium has suffered a number of suspicious and alarming activities at its nuclear sites and against some of its nuclear technicians. In Aug. 2014, for example, someone with inside access at the Doel-4 nuclear reactor drained the lubricant for the reactor turbine, causing it to overheat and resulting in an estimated $100-$200 million in damage. The perpetrator and the motive remain unknown.In Nov. 2015, Belgian police discovered that the terror cell that carried out the Paris attacks used a secret video camera to monitor an official at nuclear research sites with a wide range of nuclear and radiological materials, including enough highly enriched uranium for several nuclear bombs."
Doel-1 is currently down for repairs. ISIS had a follower working at one of the Doel plants. Image Source: DW.
- Reuters: "UPDATE 2-Belgian Doel 4 nuclear reactor closed till year-end" (14 August 2014)
- HLN: "Hoe kan zo iemand in Doel werken?" (21 October 2014)
- Reuters: "Belgium find video of nuclear official in search for Paris attack clues" (17 February 2016)
- IB Times: "Paris attacks: Jihadists secretly monitored Belgian nuclear scientist for potential Daesh dirty bomb" (18 February 2016)
- The Center for Public Integrity: "A terrorist group’s plot to create a radioactive ‘dirty bomb’: ISIS was looking for nuclear materials, and Belgium was a smart place to hunt" (29 February 2016)
- The Center for Public Integrity: "Belgium orders immediate security upgrade at its nuclear sites: After long relying on unarmed guards, Belgium decides to send soldiers with weapons to safeguard its reactors from a terrorist attack" (11 March 2016)
- DH: "Exclusif: les frères El Bakraoui visaient nos centrales nucléaires!" (24 March 2016)
- RT: "Brussels terrorists planned nuclear plants attack, changed target after accomplice’s arrest – report" (24 March 2016)
- Time: "The Terrorist Threat From ISIS May Be About to Get Worse" (24 March 2016)
- The Times: "Brussels cell ‘was plotting radioactive bomb attack’" (25 March 2016)
- The Washington Post: "Brussels attacks stoke fears about security of Belgian nuclear facilities" (25 March 2016)
- NYT: "Belgium Fears Nuclear Plants Are Vulnerable" (25 March 2016)
- Time: "ISIS Attackers May Have Targeted Nuclear Power Station" (25 March 2016)
- Politico: "Armed police on guard at Belgian nuclear facilities" (25 March 2016)
- Reuters: "Belgian nuclear guard shot, prosecutor rules out militant link" (26 March 2016)
- DH: "Un agent de sécurité dans le nucléaire tué à Charleroi: la piste terroriste démentie par le parquet de Charleroi" (26 March 2016)
- Daily Mail: "Two Belgian nuclear power plant workers have joined ISIS leading to fears the jihadis have the intelligence to cause a meltdown disaster" (27 March 2016)
- BGR: "Brussels attackers were looking to make radioactive ‘dirty bomb’" (28 March 2016)
- The World Post: "Belgium Highlights the Nuclear Terrorism Threat and Security Measures to Stop it" (29 March 2016)
- IB Times: "ISIS To Attack Germany? Islamic State Lists German Targets For Brussels-Style Terrorism" (31 March 2016)
- Reuters: "Islamic State urges attacks on German chancellery, Bonn airport: SITE group" (31 March 2016)
- CNN: "Nuclear terrorist threat bigger than you think" (1 April 2016)
- Ecologist: "Dirty bomb' security risk at Belgian nuclear power plants" (4 April 2016)
- IB Times: "ISIS Threat To Germany: Spy Chief Says Security Situation Is ‘Very Serious’ Amid Islamic State’s Attack Plans" (10 April 2016)
- DW: "A nuclear terrorism threat made in Belgium?" (15 April 2016)
- Die Welt: "Chirurgen sollen sich auf Anschläge vorbereiten" (27 April 2016)
- Breitbart: "Surgeons Receiving Military Bomb Trauma Training For Future Terror Attacks" (28 April 2016)
- IB Times: "Belgium Nuclear Radiation Threat? Iodine Pills Supplied To Belgian Citizens After Germany Expresses Concern" (28 April 2016)
- The Telegraph: "All Belgian residents issued with iodine tablets to protect against radiation" (28 April 2016)
- RT: "Iodine pills for all: Nuclear plant security worries prompt new Belgium health plan" (28 April 2016)
- Daily Mail: "Belgium to provide its entire population with iodine pills in case of a nuclear accident at one of its ageing power plants" (28 April 2016)
- DW: "Belgium says its nuclear plants are safe but here are some iodine pills - just in case: Belgium's health ministry has said it will provide iodine pills to its population in case of an accident at one of its atomic plants. Technical problems with its aging reactors have caused tension with neighbor Germany" (29 April 2016)
- New Indian Express: "Belgium Issues Anti-radiation Tablets to Whole Country After Isil 'Dirty Bomb' Threat" (29 April 2016)
- IB Times: "Belgium distributes anti-radiation iodine tablets to entire population following nuclear meltdown fears" (29 April 2016)
See all my posts on Nuclear topics.