Methodological bases of research problems of nuclear security

April 03, 2013, автор tim0

Ordabek E.
PhD candidate at the al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Ordabek3The concept of «nuclear safety» as a structural element of national security is a multidimensional concept and includes the approaches of different sciences, as shows the basic social processes, political, economic, legal, cultural, etc.

The paper considers the interpretation of the terms of the national nuclear safety and the Russian and Kazakh scientists. It is noted that to date there is no clear notion of the term «nuclear safety» in its political significance. Proposed that the definition of «nuclear safety», which contains not only the technical aspects of the use of nuclear energy, but their projection on the political, economic, defense, environmental, social and information security, and thus – breaking through the prism of national security.
Even a cursory look at the issue of nuclear safety allows it to allocate the most important thing, namely, that in this case that we deal with that aspect of national security, which is directly related to the use of military force, of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear safety of the country characterized by unity of its two sides: internal and external. The outer side means the ability and the ability to prevent or counteract the effects of nuclear forces, acting from abroad. The inner side – the possibility of exclusion, prevention or containment of internal destructive manifestations.
The main goal of nuclear safety is to create and maintain an economic, political, international and military-strategic situation of the country, which would have provided favorable conditions for the development of the individual, society and state, would rule out the risk of weakening the role and importance of the state as a subject of international law, undermining its ability to realize its national interests in the international arena.

Under present conditions nuclear safety is dependent on several factors, with the geopolitical and regional, economic and socio-political, ethnic, cultural, and environmental information, as well as many other dimensions.

Nuclear safety can include different aspects of society, according to this typology is proposed in the course of this concept. In particular, we can talk about the economic, political, social, environmental, military, political and other types of nuclear safety [1].

The main interest today is the nuclear threat in Asia, the most unstable region of the world in terms of global nuclear security. The spread of nuclear technologies and the failure of Asian states to sign the landmark international agreement in the region of distribution have led to the deployment of new systems of nuclear power in the region, which in turn affect both the relationship with third mills. It also increased the likelihood of nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands.

The nuclear threat is the potential for damage by the defeat of a nuclear facility or use of nuclear explosive devices. To date, the nuclear threat has two sources: first, the possibility of using nuclear weapons by terrorists, and, secondly, the possibility of using nuclear weapons in large-scale war, and in the form of mutual tactical strikes illegal nuclear states, such, for example, as North Korea, Pakistan or India.

The first source of threat, namely, the capture of terrorists a nuclear facility, is the most dangerous. An act of terrorism on 11 September in the U.S. was in fact already a fact of mass destruction of civilians, but without the use of weapons of mass destruction. However, he immediately created a picture of what can be done if the terrorists will have access to nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the existing agency agreement, clubs and other institutions are not designed for nuclear terrorism, and quite effective in combating it.

They are designed for state, that is, a stable policy – a legal institution, which can be verified through inspections and which can impose sanctions or even military force in case it is necessary. If the state creates a nuclear weapon, it does not create a bomb; it will make them a lot. How much do you need for this uranium, plutonium, can be fairly easy to calculate? This is an important factor in the control of the state. With regard to terrorist organizations, their unpredictability and lack of control can lead to large-scale disaster, surpassing all previous acts of terrorism. By its very nature nuclear terrorism is different from «traditional» scale, the number of possible victims, and methods of implementation. There are four possible scenarios of nuclear terrorism:

Dispersal of highly radioactive material. The danger of creating such devices is the relative ease of assembly and use, which is intended to destabilize society and create a panic. The problem is that the radioactive materials used in «dirty» bombs, include not only traditional uranium and plutonium, and other materials that are widely used in agriculture, industry, medicine and scientific research, such as cobalt- 60, cesium-137 (used in medicine), iridium-192.

Moreover, after the explosion, require expensive measures to deactivate, and if an explosion occurs in a densely populated area, then such events may require extreme measures, including temporary eviction. But from the standpoint of the combat use of this tool is not too effective. In this sense, chemical weapons can give a greater effect and gain access to it is much easier.

Attack or sabotage at nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities. According to the IAEA, the world’s 438 operating nuclear power reactors, 277 research reactors, fuel cycle, hundreds of objects, such as factories for the production of uranium concentrate, uranium conversion, enrichment facilities, temporary storage and processing, etc.
Many facilities in Asia, due to lack of funds, are not equipped or adapted to reflect the localization and the consequences of nuclear sabotage and do not have an adequate level of protection. Even in the U.S. «design basis threat» to nuclear facilities does not include protection against attacks from the air. This is partly due to the fact that the threat to this species is a relatively new and the creation of a full range of measures to protect nuclear sites is problematic, because just do not know the nature of threats and methods to which terrorists may resort. Only on the territory of Kazakhstan are four unique research reactor, a critical stand, isochronous cyclotron, an accelerator of heavy ions and electron accelerators. In Russia as a large number of nuclear facilities: 29 nuclear reactors, the vast stocks of spent nuclear fuel, etc. Protecting them now improving, but not sufficient [2].

Also one of the hazards in Central Asia can be derived from the system storage of waste uranium industry. In order to save time and money and tailings dumps located near sources of raw materials, often in flood plains and river beds of the Central – Asian region. This fact in turn allows for the possibility of terrorist acts that could lead to the destruction of dams, limiting tailings dam and the mountain lakes in the territory of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. In the case of contamination of waterways with radioactive and toxic wastes of uranium production will be amazed by the huge territory and large number of residents of the regions, taken out of the vast agricultural lands, which will be for several decades contain radionuclide’s and toxic impurities. Consequently, the potential targets of terrorist acts are not only nuclear, but the serving and the surrounding objects.

Theft or purchase of fissile material to build a nuclear explosive device. The main instruments of regulation in this area are the standards of IAEA, the bilateral agreement on the audit, as well as the Convention on the Protection of Nuclear Material of 1980 with Annex. The world has accumulated a huge amount of weapons-grade nuclear materials. In Russia alone 1,200 tons of weapons-grade uranium and 120 tons of plutonium, for comparison, in the United States 100 tons of plutonium and 800 tones of uranium, Pakistan has approximately 600-mi kilograms of weapons grade uranium. The vast amount of information available on the Internet where you can get detailed information on how to build a crude nuclear device.

There are a large number of unemployed nuclear specialists who can carry out the assembly. The destructive effect can be large, and in the Asian region, the level of protection is quite low, therefore, the capture and use of nuclear material in Asia with respect to probable. However, this may not make a proper impression on those States which are primarily aimed at terrorism. And this is the United States and the developed countries of Europe and Japan.
Also, the problem is the fact that the former Soviet Union existed before the system control and management of uranium industry have been disrupted.
The problem of transportation of nuclear material, as well as the safety of the route is a component of nuclear security assurances both in Asia and around the world. Because the whole system of measures that provide transportation of spent nuclear fuel (SNF), should not only be identical with the standards of the IAEA, but also to be implemented in real life. In other words, need to know:
- That we carry, and this so-called security guarantees for the state of the radionuclide preparation;
- What is taken out – namely, the properties of the container, which isolates the nuclide substance from the environment?
- In which transport is removal;
- Which route is removal?

Each of these four components when moving the radionuclide content of the enterprise, where it is already attained, to the point of delivery is monitored throughout the safeguards system – technical and financial.

Capture high-grade nuclear weapons. Despite the fact that nuclear warheads are difficult, the possibility of theft by deception, or bribery remains. Strategic nuclear warheads are stored together with support in special places are protected and safe, so get them out is almost impossible. In addition, the nuclear charges are created in such a way that they had a double, a triple protection system.

A big problem up tactical nuclear warheads, which are often found in stores separately from the media. Not all tactical nuclear products have adequate protection, they are relatively easier to access. There are thousands of tactical nuclear weapons (TNW), not covered by formal procedures of arms control. They are characterized by:
- Small size;
- More;
- The lack of licensing procedures;
- Finding outside the central repository.

At the same time the United States and Russia, the main holders of tactical nuclear weapons, did not express any – or intention to hold talks on further strengthening of the informal and fragile regime of control over tactical nuclear weapons, based on parallel unilateral declarations made by the U.S. and USSR / Russia in 1991 and 1992 [3].
Capture of TNW is the most dangerous source of nuclear danger.

The fact of the abduction of tactical nuclear weapons can serve as a valuable tool for political pressure, and possession of tactical nuclear weapons makes it possible to put forward any conditions. Nor is it likely the voluntary transfer of tactical nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists, to put pressure on the superpowers. Consequently, the problem of theft is directly related to the problem of nuclear proliferation and the emergence of new states with nuclear weapons in Asia. The greater the number of countries have nuclear weapons, the more it on the planet, the greater the likelihood of theft and use. Many countries in Asia that have developed civilian nuclear industry, nuclear energy, respectively, have the technical capability to build nuclear weapons if they so decide.

Thus, not being able to effectively influence the process of nuclear proliferation in Asia, the great powers and the international community does not emphasize the fact of distribution. This aspect of the second component of nuclear safety in Asia, which is expressed in the emergence of new nuclear states.


Абдултапаев С.И. О некоторых вопросах внешней политики РК//Актуальные проблемы межгосударственных отношений: Межвузовский сборник научных трудов. – Алматы, 1998. – С.49-50.
Абенов Е.М., Арынов Е.М. Стратегия в области внешней безопасности и оборонная политика РК//Саясат. 1997. № 10. С. 48-49.
Актуальные проблемы ядерной безопасности Казахстана.//Саясат, 2004. – № 10 – С.37-38.


В данной статье анализируется методологические основы исследования проблем ядерной безопасности.


Аталған мақалада ядролық қауіпсіздік мәселелерін зерттеудегі әжістемелік негіздер сарапталынады.

  • Ordabek3
Political science

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