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Report: Nuclear sites open to attack

A nuclear reactor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg is vulnerable to terrorists making off with bomb-grade uranium, a study by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin has found.

The report found that the NIST reactor is among three that are not adequately protected from thefts of nuclear material; the others are located at the University of Missouri in Columbia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Eight other reactors in California, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Texas are unprotected against terrorist attacks from the sea, and none of the 104 commercial reactors in the U.S. is fully protected against airplane attacks, according to the report.