Homeland Security-8

Homeland Security-8



Homeland Security-8


Nuclear terrorism is one of the biggest problems that governments grapple with globally. The Department of Homeland Security has set up several sector-specific agencies that have been tasked with the protection of critical infrastructure and vital resources. Terror groups have been known to attempt the use of nuclear weapons against their targets. In June 2007, a Russian terrorist was arrested in Georgia for the possession of highly enriched uranium (HEU) which is used in nuclear power generation. The Al Qaeda has been reported to be trying to acquire nuclear weapons for close to two decades and have sought nuclear expertise as well. Nuclear power plants are strategic installations under the Office of Infrastructure Protection and pose as the greatest targets for nuclear terrorist attacks.


Nuclear attacks often leave behind large numbers of casualties and have debilitating effects that are still felt centuries after. There would be at least 500,000 casualties if a nuclear bomb were detonated in a city in the United States, which is a staggering loss to the country. This number does not include the hundreds of thousands more injured. Scores of people would continue dying from radioactive exposure and fallouts. In a nuclear war, radioactive material is often released into the air exposing people. Radioactive exposure has very damaging effects, especially to the human body and health. Women give birth to genetically defective children with serious anatomical deformities. People develop severe forms of cancer that eventually result in death. Serious economic damage would result as property would be destroyed, and huge expenditure would be incurred because of post-war reconstruction. Close to $1 trillion would be incurred in losses in the event of a nuclear attack. Infernos caused by the nuclear bombs would burn on for days, and the country would experience shortage and depletion of hospital resources due to the high number of casualties. Such an attack would result in broken and homeless families. Nuclear attacks are not always about atomic bombing. Terrorists have what are called dirty bombs. These radiological weapons release radioactive material that can contaminate up to 10,000 square kilometers thus rendering a certain area uninhabitable for centuries. Terrorists consider this weapon very effective. The effects of nuclear terrorism are not only about death, but what follows is a very unpleasant chain reaction that affects peoples’ lives in a very devastating manner. According to the September 9/11 Commission, the nuclear plants were the initial targets for the attacks. The aftermath would have been more severe, with more fatalities, casualties, and great fallouts. It is clear that these nuclear reactors and materials pose as the most significant targets for terrorists as they have a significant impact as compared to other forms of attacks.


The thought of a nuclear attack instills fear, confusion, and trauma in people, which is the terrorist’s aim. A nuclear terror attack would leave behind a devastatingly large number of casualties and fatalities, a serious economic hiatus, and massive property destruction. The most dangerous effect is the release of radioactive material that would ripple on over the years, making an area uninhabitable, and having genetic defects in children born. Nuclear warfare leaves few survivors in its wake. This fuels the terror group’s ambition and need to use nuclear power to launch attacks. Undoubtedly, nuclear power plants are among the most significant resources to the United States; however, they are the greatest targets to terror groups, as the effects of their attacks would incapacitate America.

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