Nuclear security institute in Vienna launched with US funding

Other News Materials 29 September 2008 18:58 (UTC +04:00)

An international institute to work on the improvement of global nuclear security practices was launched in Vienna Monday, funded by the Unites States and the Nuclear Threat Initiative organization, dpa reported.

The World Institute for Nuclear Security will provide a forum for experts, industry and government officials to discuss standards for protecting nuclear materials from criminals or terrorists.

"The world can't afford to wait for a security Chernobyl before we act," said former US Senator Sam Nunn, who chairs the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative together with CNN founder Ted Turner.

Around 200 cases of illicit trafficking of radioactive sources are reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) per year, but many more are estimated to go unreported.

"Among all the threats we are facing in the world, the prospect of nuclear terrorism is the biggest danger we are facing in the near future", IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

The institute was launched on the sidelines of the IAEA general conference that is convening in Vienna this week.