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Study on keeping nuclear bombs from US ports shows misplaced fear over cargo scanning cost
Date:6/24/2009

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Implementing their recommended model would require terminal operators to purchase, deploy and operate inspection equipment in consultation with the U.S. government; to hire, train, and monitor private inspectors to analyze secondary inspection images; and to overcome some information technology challenges associated with sharing scanned images with government officials who require them.

When it comes to protecting the nation's ports, the authors warn, the challenge of comprehensive inspection and the cost of failure are both great.

"Unlike a long range missile, the millions of shipping containers that are used to transport goods in ocean-going vessels provide terrorists with a way to hide a nuclear device destined for U.S. shores," they write. "Further, by using a container, terrorists can potentially achieve mass disruption to global supply chains by creating widespread public anxiety that other containers may have nuclear devices."

The economic cost resulting from actual detonation of a nuclear device, one expert says, would be between $55 - 220 billion.


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Contact: Barry List
barry.list@informs.org
443-757-3560
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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