SCRIPT: Radioactive Road Trip (Primetime)

Here there actually seemed to be a heightened state of security awareness.

KARSON YIU

All the entrances are punch coded or keycard swiped. That place was locked down. I mean, New Mexico passes the test.

BRIAN ROSS

Then it was on to Texas, to Texas A&M. The president of this university is a former head of the CIA, Robert Gates. The nuclear reactor is just down the road from the George Bush Presidential Library. And the reactor itself uses weapons-grade highly enriched uranium. And yet our students without any background checks had no problem gaining access with their cameras rolling to the reactor pool, what would essentially be the ultimate target for a terrorist. Texas A&M is licensed to have as much as 17 kilograms of highly enriched uranium. That's what's at the bottom of this pool being kept cool in the water. It takes 25 kilograms to make a nuclear weapon.

STEVE GROVE

I mean, compared to the other reactors we went to, this was as close as we got. And we got, you know, right above the pool.

BRIAN ROSS

But you didn't have to show any ID.

KARSON YIU

We didn't have to show any ID.

BRIAN ROSS

No ID?

STEVE GROVE

No. The same kind of thing you'd fill out for a magazine subscription, just, you know, name, address.

BRIAN ROSS

If you had something hidden in your clothing, would it have been detected?

STEVE GROVE

They didn't have metal detectors.

BRIAN ROSS

Could you have thrown that something into the pool if you wanted to?

STEVE GROVE

Sure.

KARSON YIU

Sure.

BRIAN ROSS

And the tour guide, after stating how important security had become since 9/11, freely revealed an important security detail.

STEVE GROVE

Are there like, guards and stuff, or you really can't tell us about?

STUDENT

No. Did you see the guards? Yeah, there's no guards and stuff, so ...

BRIAN ROSS

It turns out the federal government does not require Texas A&M to have guards on site. Instead, they are permitted to rely on nearby campus police to respond quickly.

MATTHEW BUNN

When you're talking about not only sabotage, but potential nuclear bomb material that might get stolen, in my view, you got to have better security than we have today.

(Commercial Break)

ANNOUNCER

"Primetime's" Radioactive Road Trip continues.

BRIAN ROSS

A perfect setting. A Fourth of July in Boston as the Boston Pops Orchestra performs along the Charles River. A perfect setting for an act of nuclear terrorism. A dirty bomb that Professor Graham Allison of Harvard says this country has yet to adequately defend against.

PROFESSOR GRAHAM ALLISON

Everyone that I know who studied the problem says a dirty bomb attack is long overdue.

BRIAN ROSS

Just across the river from where the Boston Pops performs on a public street in the City of Cambridge in this white-domed building is the second biggest university nuclear reactor in the country, run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The reactor is licensed for as much as 40 kilograms of highly enriched weapons-grade uranium, more than enough to make a nuclear weapon.

PROFESSOR GRAHAM ALLISON

Highly enriched uranium anywhere is a threat to Americans everywhere. Highly enriched uranium that's vulnerable anywhere could be the stuff of a nuclear bomb.

BRIAN ROSS

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