"The Peaceful Atom Is a Bomb"

For decades opponents of nuclear energy have warned that each reactor and disposal site is a potential bomb capable of causing thousands of civilian deaths and billions of dollars in damage if struck by the type of terrorist attack witnessed September 11th. Such precautionary warnings were given little credence or dismissed as anti-nuclear fearmongering in the past. Now that the unthinkable has occurred, the terrorist threat to nuclear facilities is being generally acknowledged. An article on today's Associated Press wire by William Kole in Vienna, Austria, states that "little can be done to shield a nuclear power plant from an airborne assault. ... A direct hit of a nuclear plant by a modern jumbo jet traveling at high speed 'could create a Chernobyl situation,' said a U.S. official who declined to be identified.