August 23, 2002
7:19 AM   Subscribe

In the midst of all the talk of possible terrorist deployments of Weapons of Mass-Destruction, this seems like a somewhat dramatic, if effective, approach to pre-empting the threat of blackmarket nuclear proliferation. The co-operative approach adopted by the U.S and Russia - and presumably the Yugoslav Government itself - also seems encouraging. Should this 'surprise-attack' approach now be used to negate the threat posed as nuclear facilities are decommissioned worldwide??
posted by Doozer (3 comments total)
Well, it wasn't a surprise, and it wasn't an attack; and yes, the Yugoslav government didn't just cooperate, but provided the bulk of the effort. The US provided planning, logistics, and security, and only between the plant and the airport. But it certainly demonstrates a tremendously proactive approach to a problem that has been given scant resources despite longstanding warnings.

The best part is certainly the Russians' attitude, and the co-equal level of cooperation. This is in many ways a direct result of the NATO-Russia partnership, a step up from the Yeltsin-Clinton era "joint council" phase, where Russia is given a seat at the table in discussing certain European security issues like terrorism.

The problem here wasn't so much the nuclear facility per se, as that it was one of the common Russian reactors that leaves bomb-grade material as "waste". Western-built reactors don't, and I believe the non-proliferation agreements also put a moratorium on any others. It was a Cold War relic in the middle of a quasi-failed state with poor security.

Now maybe we can get some progress on the abandoned RTGs.
posted by dhartung at 7:33 AM on August 23, 2002

Much more detailed WaPo article on the recovery of the nuclear materials.

Hint: if a wire story gives a source, try to look for that article.
posted by dhartung at 7:36 AM on August 23, 2002

Yeah, talk about dramatic.

In a preemptive strike against mail tampering, I snatched a letter from my mail box yesterday, in cooperation with my girlfriend and the mail man!
posted by mikrophon at 7:39 AM on August 23, 2002

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