Dirty Bombs & Nuclear Security: NSS Time

Data via Google Ngram
Data via Google Ngram

The 3rd Nuclear Security Summit kicks off in the Hague March 24. The final communique is expected to be released about 4:00 p.m. on March 25. While most reporters congregating at the event will do so in anticipation of a G7 meeting (minus Russia), Atomic Reporters may still glean insight on the state of today’s nuclear-security debate (key words Rokkasho & Ukraine).

Nuclear security has experienced a renaissance since the 1990s, when the U.S.-Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction program managed to remove and/or secure fissile materials from former Soviet countries. Following September 11, 2001, security discussions tended to focus on re-purposed nuclear material for a “dirty bomb.” The conversation about nuclear safety, which shares a silo with security at the IAEA, fell softer for more than a decade leading to 2008, the last year of our data.

How do we know this? We’re testing our experiences and memories against Google computational linguistics. The company’s Ngram tool looks for word patterns among 5.2 million books scanned by the company up until 2008. Sometimes its a helpful tool to gauge how technical conversations develop over time.

Of course, most of the time as a journalist, it’s easier to simply pick up the phone and talk with an expert. That’s why we’re pleased to post the Fissile Materials Working Group’s offer of nuclear-security experts available to journalists:

FMWG NUCLEAR SECURITY SUMMIT EXPERTS LIST

See you in the Hague.

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