Exclusive: Inside U.S. Mission to Secure Weapons-Grade Nuclear Material

The riskiest part of the mission is moving the nuclear material. To ensure there was no sabotage prior to departure, dogs sniffed for explosives, but not everything went smoothly: The Chilean police escort arrived more than an hour late, and another tremor rocked the new destination port of Valparaiso. The team decided to move forward.

For the entire five-hour drive, the nuclear material was escorted by a Chilean SWAT team.

Police on motorcycles led the way in the race against time -- and terrorists.

The team worked through the early hours of the morning, loading each container onto the ship one by one, as the sun slowly rose over the port of Valparaiso.

Nearly 12 hours after the caravan began its journey, the last container was loaded.

"We are pretty exhausted, but at the same time pretty exhilarated that we have done what we came to do," said Bieniawski. "As a result of this, the world is safer."

Two weeks later, the boat carrying the last of Chile's nuclear material arrived safely at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station, officially making Chile the 18th country the NNSA has cleared of all weapons grade nuclear material. Seventeen other countries such as Brazil, Libya, Romania, Turkey have already been cleared, but there's at least 19 more to go.

Click here for more information on the NNSA, and click here to visit the Web site for the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 10310921.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...