GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9)-- The National Institute of Standard and Technology is home to a nuclear reactor that according to a recent report is open to terroristic threats and thefts.
The Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project or NPPP at the University of Texas in Austin has concluded a report that says the NIST facility does not have the proper safeguards to stop a possible theft of the bomb grade Uranium that fuels the reactor.
Dr. Alan Kuperman co-authored the report and said, "The fuel that is used there is identical, I want to stress this...it is identical to the bomb grade uranium that is in our Nuclear weapons arsenal"
He says that fact makes it an ideal target for a would-be terrorist to steal the material and make nuclear weapons to be used on Americans in a 9/11 style attack.
NIST, defended their practices and refuted the report. A spokeswoman for the Institute said:
"The National Institute of Standards and Technology takes the security of its nuclear research reactor very seriously. NIST meets or exceeds all security requirements of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission."
The report indicated there are three sites throughout the country that are fueled by bomb grade Geranium, but it didn't offer any suggestions on how to improve what they call a lack of security.