Attacking nuclear facilities
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This chapter examines the empirical record of intrusions and attempted intrusions into nuclear facilities in order to determine both the type and magnitude of threat posed by non-state actors. Of all the myriad constructions that dot the landscape of modern societies, facilities which house and use nuclear materials hold a certain mystique in the popular imagination. While radiological materials in general are far more abundant than the fissile variety, nuclear facilities also often store large amounts of highly radioactive material that could be used in a radiological dispersal device (RDD). Thus, the first major motivation for attacking a nuclear facility is to affect the theft of dangerous material contained therein. In some cases, adversaries may attack a nuclear facility not to use its material to cause harm, but rather to disrupt the operations of the facility. A third category of motivation for attacking nuclear facilities is thus to cause harm to the facility itself.