UK terror report

28 July 2004

The UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has issued a report to assess the risk of terrorist attacks on nuclear facilities in the country.

The report, which is a review of publicly available information, is naturally constrained as much relevant information is classified but concludes: "There is sufficient information in the public domain to identify ways terrorists might bring about a release of radioactive material from a nuclear facility, but not to draw conclusions on the likelihood of a successful attack, or the size and nature of any release."

It continues that it is difficult to assess the chances of an attack as terrorist intentions and capabilities are uncertain. However, even an unsuccessful attack would have serious social and economic repercussions.

The report cites analysts who believe the UK should strengthen measures for dealing with wider dispersals of hazardous material and states that an analysis of the vulnerability of nuclear facilities relative to other sites hosting hazardous materials would be a 'useful exercise'.

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