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Apr 13, 2010, 01.37 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Pakistan, Russia, US need more nuclear security

Rich and poor countries around the world—including Pakistan, Russia and the United States—need to boost security at their nuclear sites if they want to keep atomic bombs out of the hands of terrorists

Pakistan, Russia, US need more nuclear security

Rich and poor countries around the world—including Pakistan, Russia and the United States—need to boost security at their nuclear sites if they want to keep atomic bombs out of the hands of terrorists.

The risk of a militant group getting hold of nuclear material and building a bomb with it is "possible, plausible, and over time probable," Robert Gallucci, president of the MacArthur Foundation, told a gathering of nuclear security experts ahead of a summit meeting on the same subject.

John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's counter-terrorism adviser, underlined the threat by telling reporters on the sidelines of Obama's summit that al Qaeda appears to have been trying to get nuclear bomb material.

"There have been numerous reports over the past eight or nine years of attempts to obtain various types of purported material," Brennan said on the sidelines of the summit.

"We know al Qaeda has been involved a number of times. We know they have been scammed a number of times," he said.

Gallucci told the gathering of experts that he had a message for the dozens of world leaders in Washington for Obama's nuclear security summit—stop producing arms-grade plutonium and uranium, the raw materials for nuclear bombs.

"This material is going to be around for a very long time," he said, adding that growing stockpiles of fissile material for arms increased the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.

Brennan said with more countries investing in nuclear power to meet rising energy demand, there would be a growing amount of potentially dangerous atomic material around the world.

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