Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

August 2014 Nuclear Security Brief—Nuclear Security Funding and other news

Aug. 29, 2014

Senators send a letter to the president supporting nuclear security funding, suspected nuclear sabotage in Belgium, NRC computers hacked, and more.

Highlights

  • Twenty-six senators are calling on the Obama administration to increase funding for nuclear security and nonproliferation programs in the fiscal year 2016 budget request. Eleven of those senators are on committees with jurisdiction over those programs.
  • Sabotage is the suspected cause of major damage to Belgium’s Doel 4 nuclear reactor.
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission computers were successfully hacked within the past three years.

Nuclear Security Funding

US-Russian Nuclear Security Cooperation

  • The United States has significantly scaled back the extent of its scientific and technical cooperation with Russia. The Department of Energy has prohibited its US employees from travelling to Russia, except to deal with nuclear security, weapons of mass destruction and "top-level national interests.” (Physics World, 8/20/14)

Threats & Vulnerabilities

  • Sabotage is the suspected cause of major damage to Belgium’s Doel 4 nuclear reactor. The reactor is expected to stay offline at least until the end of 2016. (Reuters, 8/14/14)
  • An internal investigation revealed that over the past three years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission computers were hacked by foreigners twice and also by an unidentifiable individual. (Defense One, 8/19/14)
  • Syrian rebels discovered an ISIS laptop containing a document on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals.  (Foreign Policy, 8/28/14)

Security for Nuclear Weapons and Materials

  • Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Andreyev announced that Russia will deploy “battle robots” to protect intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites by 2020. (The Moscow Times, 8/18/2014)

Stopping Nuclear Smuggling

  • Security agencies from Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan began drills aimed at countering attempts to transfer radioactive materials across Belarusian borders. (RIA Novosti, 8/13/14)
  • The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Sultanate of Oman completed a week-long Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Commodity Identification Training and Interdiction Tabletop Exercise at the Royal Oman Police Customs Academy in Muscat. (NNSA, 8/20/14)
For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: August 2014 Nuclear Security Brief—Nuclear Security Funding and other news.” Nuclear Security Matters, August 29, 2014, https://nuclearsecuritymatters.belfercenter.org/publication/august-2014-nuclear-security-brief-nuclear-security-funding-and-other-news.