Dirty bombs created from loose nuclear material are a growing fear worldwide as more countries develop nuclear energy, making nuclear material more available.
Alistair Burt, Britain's Foreign Office minister for the Middle East and counter-terrorism policy-maker, says the threat of a dirty bomb attack was serious enough that sensors were deployed during the 2012 Olympic Games that could detect radioactive material -- the same sensors used at ports, airports, and other public areas.
Speaking at a two-day meeting of scientists that discussed ways to prevent attacks by terrorists looking to use radioactive material, Burt also said that the number of cases involving the loss or theft of nuclear material is growing, Sky News reports.
“Figures from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN watchdog, for 1993-2011 show there have been 2,164 cases of nuclear material being ‘outside state control' ... Of those, 147 occurred in 2011, with four involving the highly enriched uranium needed to build a nuclear bomb," the news agency reported.
From the same event, Bloomberg News is reporting that Britain is also using technology spawned from the Hadron Collider to “create a new generation of detectors that harness cosmic rays to thwart smugglers of nuclear materials.”
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