STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Pakistan's HEU-based Nuclear Weapons Programme and Nuclear Terrorism: A Reality Check

Reshmi Kazi was Associate Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for profile
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  • November 2009
    Volume: 
    33
    Issue: 
    6
    Articles

    In order to construct an operational nuclear device, terrorists need to obtain the requisite fissile materials - Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) or plutonium. It has been proved that, generally, it is much simpler to devise a crude nuclear bomb with HEU than with plutonium. Hence, terrorists can have 'reasonable confidence' in the performance of weapons-grade HEU bombs. The magnitude of the threat of nuclear terrorism from Pakistan's HEU-based nuclear weapons programme is assuming alarming proportions. However, adequate preventive steps can be taken to minimize the danger.

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