fallibilist

"I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth." (Karl Popper)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dirty bombs

The nightmare scenario of a rogue state passing nuclear technology and/or materials to a terrorist network is sometimes described as unlikely or unrealistic. There is probably something in the contetntion that most states would be slow to hand shadowy individuals the means with which to destroy one of its own cities. But there are plenty of scenarios in which it is perfectly plausible to imagine that, one way or another, terrorists could get their hands on at least the components of an elementary working dirty nuclear bomb. In that case, there has been a worrying development in the U.S.:
Two teams of government investigators using fake documents were able to enter the United States with enough radioactive sources to make two dirty bombs, according to a federal [Government Accountability Office] report made available Monday.

The investigators purchased a "small quantity" of radioactive materials from a commercial source, ... posed as employees of a fictitious company and brought the materials into the United States through checkpoints on the northern and southern borders, the report stated.
Yesterday the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations began an investigation into what has been done by the federal government to protect that country from the threat of nuclear terrorism. The GAO report certainly clarifies the dangers.

4 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

Dirty bombs are a myth. And have been proven to be practically harmless due to the effect of the blast pattern. If a dirty bomb went of in grand central station it is pridicted that not one person would die from radiation (the calulation persumes people move from where they are standing within 1 year) . The only people that would die would be from the actual blast. So a terrorist group would not bother with any radioactive material and just plant a bomb.

The US army tried building one but they abandonded the program as they discovered the above.

It is to do with the dispersal of the particles being too small to do any damage. Then main worry is the panic it would cause.

The media going on about the risks of Dirty bombs where the scientific events does not back them up only makes them a greater treat then they are.

Tue Mar 28, 02:01:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger karole said...

Have you any link or evidence for that? (particularly the U.S. experiment, if it is public knowledge). And if the U.S. knows dirty bombs are no more dangerous than conventional bombs, why carry out an experiment such as the GAO did?

Tue Mar 28, 05:34:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Simon said...

Well I am a physicist and have seen much previously about it. but here is from the Nuclear regulator commission in the US as they say it is a
Weapon of Mass Destruction but rather as a Weapon of Mass Disruption.

You can check the ever acurate wikipedia :) as well if you wish the references at the bottom are good a
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_bomb

As for the GOA I have no idea. It would cause a lot of disruption and annoyance. For instance it would close grand central for a while(then again a bomb would probably close it for longer) but if the goverenments handeled it propably and told everyone what they needed to do.

But why they don't . Well your guess is as good as mine

Tue Mar 28, 07:37:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Simon said...

before weapon of mass destruction the word not should appear btw

Tue Mar 28, 07:38:00 PM GMT+1  

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