The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
“Nuclear terrorism continues to be one of the most challenging threats to international security.” Recently, international society pays more and more attentions to nuclear terrorism and nuclear security.
The frame of nuclear terrorism is analyzed in detailed link by link, from the motivation of carrying the incident, through the activities they need do, to the emergence respond. The risk and technologies useful to prevent nuclear terrorism in each links are discussed. The first and fundamental barrier in preventing nuclear terrorism is nuclear material protection. The research and development of technologies related to radiation detection would reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism. The safety and security mechanisms in nuclear weapon could be another guarantee in preventing the terrorist groups make use of the weapons they would acquire. Another edge tool in combating with nuclear terrorism is border inspection system. It would defeat the terrorism attack when they try to transport the weapon or material through borders.
The current situation and capability of the technologies useful in counter nuclear terrorism are also reviewed and discussed in the report.
ZHU Jianyu works at Center for Strategic Studies, China Academy of Engineering Physics (CSS, CAEP). He received a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Peking University. He current research focuses on nuclear policy analysis and technological problems in the field of nuclear security and nuclear disarmament.