The “IAEA Office of Nuclear Security”:http://www-ns.iaea.org/security/default.htm released its International Trafficking Database (ITDB) stats during the several days I was away from the office… Go figure. 🙂
OK, I knew that the stats were due this month (the other annual September release I am anxiously waiting for is the 2008 “Securing the Bomb”).
Anyway, here is the “IAEA press release on the ITDB update”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2008/itdb.html and here is the “fact sheet with the stats.^pdf^”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/RadSources/PDF/fact_figures2007.pdf As expected, there are no updates to confirmed incidents involving HEU and Pu, thus the main paragraph is this one:
“As of 31 December 2007, the ITDB contained *1340 confirmed incidents* reported by the participating States and a few non-participating States. Of the 1340 confirmed incidents, *303* incidents involved unauthorized possession and related criminal activity, *390* incidents involved theft or loss of nuclear or other radioactive materials, and *570* incidents involved other unauthorized activities. For the remaining *77* incidents, the reported information was not sufficient to determine the category of incident.”
Unlike last year (“here is the 2006 fact sheet ^pdf^”:http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/RadSources/PDF/fact_figures2006.pdf), the 2007 fact sheet doesn’t include incidents reported to the ITDB in 2007, instead just providing an update for 1993-2007.
But, I guess, if we look at the 2006 stats, we can say that during 2007, *260 new confirmed incidents* were added to the ITDB (though they could have happened in 2007 or earlier and have just been reported by the states recently).
Moreover, of these 260 incidents added, *29 cases* involved unauthorized possession and related criminal activity, *58 cases* involved theft or loss of nuclear or other radioactive materials, and *172 cases* involved other unauthorized activities (_note that though the latter number is a jump, this category includes “[i]ncidents … primarily involv[ing] various types of material recovery showing *no direct evidence of criminal behavior*, such as discovery of orphan sources, detection of materials disposed of in an unauthorized way, etc.”_). A tiny disclaimer here is that my numbers are a little rough because of the 70+ cases with insufficient information that are carried over annually (judging from the update, one can’t quite tell whether additional information on any of these cases was provided during 2007 (after which they were put into a specific category), while new cases with insufficient information were added).
*Update*: “GSN quotes”:http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2008_9_29.html#802352F5 an “agency staffer” as saying that the 2007 data might be incomplete.