Dossier: Loose Nukes

Russia's estimated stockpile includes 18,000 assembled nuclear warheads at some 150 to 210 sites … Additionally, it retains an estimated 603 metric tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and 170 metric tons of separated plutonium … A working nuclear bomb requires at least 16 kilograms of uranium or 4 kilograms of plutonium … Only 3 percent of Russia's total nuclear material stockpile is subject to U.S. monitoring … 84 1-kiloton “suitcase nukes” are missing, according to former Russian national-security adviser Alexander Lebed … The United States has verified the dismantlement of zero Russian nuclear warheads … 10 nuclear cities employ approximately 120,000 to 130,000 people believed to have access to nuclear weapons or weapons-usable nuclear material … Russia hopes to cut this workforce by 35,000 by the end of 2005 … Al-Qaeda has actively sought nuclear weapons since at least 1992 … In that year, coincidentally, Leonid Smirnov stole 1.5 kilograms of HEU from the Russian laboratory where he worked, becoming one of the world's first nuclear thieves … He was hoping to sell it for $500 … Al-Qaeda's annual budget during the 1990s was around $200 million … ABC News smuggled 15 pounds of nuclear material similar to heu into New York in 2002 … It repeated the stunt in Los Angeles in 2003 … The fiscal year 2004 United States budget cut the “Second Line of Defense” international anti–nuclear-smuggling effort by $85 million, or more than 38 percent … George W. Bush's FY2005 budget request allots $706.5 million for reducing the threat of loose nukes … Halliburton overbilled the Pentagon by $700 million in one “discrepancy” alone … Bush's most recent budget request was 4.6 percent lower than Bill Clinton's final budget request in real terms … Bush's FY2002 budget request was 34.3 percent lower than Clinton's last request and 13 percent lower than the FY2001 budget Congress approved … Author Graham Allison's conservative estimate for “total war on nuclear terrorism” puts the price tag at $5 billion to $10 billion per year … The total 12-year (1992 to 2004) U.S. expenditure on securing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction abroad was about $9.2 billion … President Bush requests $9.2 billion for the Missile Defense Agency in his FY2005 budget.

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