Re: Nuke weapon/reactor/waste horror story links?

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Tue Jan 09 2001 - 04:52:50 MST

At 01:32 AM 1/9/01 -0800, you wrote:
>Consult NEST. Drugs do not leak gamma rays. individual
>terrorists usually act on behalf of a group, under
>specific instructions. The individual (being
>dead)would not fear reprisals; the organization,
>however, would draw a wrath like nothing before seen;
>unlimited resources would be committed to its
>immediate annihilation. Right now they're a pest; they
>have no wish to become Priority Numero Uno.
>Trust me.
>john marlow

True, about organizations. They want to live so they can sacrifice many
suicide bombers...

As far as gamma leakage - that's exactly what the lead is for. 2" of lead
will attenuate gamma from plutonium (it emits mostly alpha, anyway), and
the inverse square law will ensure that the signature is undetectable past
a few meters at best, with modern equipment. Long range sensors for this
kind of thing are limited to astronomy, where they look into almost empty
space with gamma point sources. Try the same instrument aimed at a ball of
mildly radioactive rock, and you get a big smear.

I am sure NEST has detectors in strategic spots, and would not be surprised
to learn that more than one nuclear terrorist simply vanished upon arriving
in the United States. Regardless, if one was suitably motivated, brining in
a backpack (or full-sized) nuke limpeted to the hull of a transport ship,
covered in a few inches (or a foot!) of lead to prevent the detectors from
alerting is not that hard. If we have not seen nuclear terrorism, I suspect
it is due more to good intelligence rather than some science fiction magic
bomb detector.

Chuck Kuecker

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