Stashed away at the sprawling Sellafield nuclear complex on the remote Cumbrian coast is the world’s largest stockpile of plutonium. A giant heavily guarded shed holds more than 120 tonnes of plutonium dioxide powder, sealed in stainless-steel cans – enough to make 20,000 Nagasaki-size bombs. Nine years ago The Royal Society, the UK’s most prestigious science institution, warned that the stockpile was a security risk, vulnerable to terrorist attack. It still is.

In 2007, The Royal Society set out an urgent programme for making the stockpile safer. But in a recent interview for Resurgence ...


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