Monthly Archives: September 2008

IAEA Releases ITDB 2007 Stats

The “IAEA Office of Nuclear Security”: 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”: and here is the “fact sheet with the stats.^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^”:, 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).

‘Tis all.

*Update*: “GSN quotes”: an “agency staffer” as saying that the 2007 data might be incomplete.


Just in case you missed it, _The New York Times_ profiles today’s launch of the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) in “this article”: Here is the “NTI page on WINS”: And here is the “WINS website”: too.

*Update*: “IAEA on WINS”:

UNSC Resolution 1835

The Security Council adopted it yesterday. Full text is “here.”:

It reaffirms the previous resolutions about Iran and

bq. Calls upon Iran to comply fully and without delay with its obligations under the above-mentioned resolutions of the Security Council, and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors;

No new sanctions, though.

Verfication Plan for North Korea

The _WP_ has a “copy”: of the U.S.-proposed scheme for verifying the elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. You may have “heard”: that the North Koreans were a little unhappy with it.

Appropriately describing the plan as “far-reaching,” the accompanying “article”: notes that

bq. U.S. verification experts were not even closely consulted when the six nations involved in the talks concluded a vague agreement on how verification might proceed. But they were given the lead role in drafting the U.S. document presented to North Korea in July.

About 5 years ago, if memory serves, I saw some of State’s VCI people talk about a verification scheme for North Korea. It was apparent then that they were for _extensive_ verification. So the character of this proposal is, to me, unsurprising.

The Church of Nuclear

Just thought I’d share this peculiar picture of Russia’s “Kalinin NPP”: (And, no, “I didn’t photoshop it”:


ISIS on India and Nuclear Exports

ISIS has some “action”: on centrifuge-related blueprints that were obtained from India for cheap. The institute also “responded”: to a related press release from India’s DAE.

Bottom line: it doesn’t look like a blanket denial.

Neocon Genius

What one “finds”: when one follows links…

bq. I am a pro-victory Associate Professor of Political Science teaching in Southern California. I love my country, and I fully support current U.S. military operations around the world. *I despise the hard-left radical agenda and discourse. I also abhor irrationalism in argumentation.*

Those last two sentences speak for themselves…