The Nuke Pipeline

The trade in nuclear contraband is approaching critical mass. Can we turn off the spigot?

The six men who gathered at the roadside cafe southeast of Moscow last Thursday did not go there for the food. They went there for the uranium. Some of the men, members of the Balashikha criminal gang, claimed to be in possession of 2 lbs. of uranium 235, the kind of top-shelf radioactive material that can be used to build weapons. They were asking $30,000 for the deadly merchandise. The others--the buyers--seemed prepared to pay it. The deal may actually have gone off had Russian security forces not been watching. They swept in, arrested all six men and were led back...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!