Nuclear security 'extremely important' for all states

Internal view of the Tore Supra vacuum chamber

Making sure that nuclear materials don't fall into the wrong hands remains an extremely important issue for all states, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Yukiya Amano told the General Assembly on Tuesday that in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the agency has significantly expanded its nuclear security programme.

Mr. Amano said there are now 113 countries that are participating in the IAEA's Illicit Trafficking Database programme (ITDB) and the number continues to grow.

"In the year to June 2011, 172 incidents were reported to the Database. Fourteen involved activities such as unauthorized possession and/or attempts to sell or smuggle nuclear material or sources. Another 32 incidents involved the theft or loss of nuclear or other radioactive material."

Duration: 26"

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