Washington, Apr 6: The Henry L. Stimson Centre, a Washington-based think tank, has said Pakistan's nuclear installations and radiation facilities are secure from attack, and any such attempt would be detected in the early stages.
According to a paper presented to the centre by Mohammad Saleem Zafar, a visiting fellow from the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), a sabotage act on a nuclear installation is not very attractive to a terrorist group in general and specifically within the context of Pakistan. Zafar lists Pakistan's response to nuclear terrorism and improvements needed to manage such emergencies.
He argues that advances in the knowledge of science and technology and their accessibility to terrorists have made the threat of nuclear terrorism no longer fiction, but reality with their intention to inflict catastrophic damage on man, environment, and property.
However, in the presence of multiple safety and physical barriers, the probability of nuclear terrorism on research reactors is very low.
Even after a successful sabotage act on a nuclear research reactor, the extent of damage both to the public and the environment will depend upon the mode of attack, the quantity of radioactivity released, the movement of radioactive material through the atmosphere and its uptake by the human body, weather conditions, time of attack, the efficiency of countermeasures put in place to protect the public from radiation and other factors.
The Daily Times quotes Zafar as saying that the controls around various nuclear installations and radiation facilities in Pakistan are enough to deter and delay a terrorist attack.