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Mexico's Stolen Radiation Truck: It Could Happen In the US 105

Posted by timothy
from the every-moral-panic-is-the-very-worst-one dept.
Lasrick writes "Tom Bielefeld, a physicist specializing in nuclear security, writes a detailed article that has some surprising revelations about nuclear security in the U.S. (and elsewhere). Although some security measures have been tightened since 9/11, the US does not require transports of category-1 to be protected by armed guards, and individual states don't have to provide lists of 'safe havens' to the transport company (and they often don't). And at hospitals and other buildings that house radioactive materials and devices, 'security conditions remain hair-raising, even when these facilities have been checked by inspectors.'"
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Mexico's Stolen Radiation Truck: It Could Happen In the US

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  • NIMBY (Score:5, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @10:34AM (#46066141) Homepage Journal

    No way. Couldn't happen here! Not in a million years. Someone is smoking some really strange shit to think we could just lose some radioactive material here in the US of A.

    Oh - wait. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2... [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:No shit. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @10:55AM (#46066209) Homepage Journal

    A Mexican is an immigrant, or a migrant, and likely an illegal alien. An American citizen was either born here, with a US birth certificate, or a naturalized citizen. The difference is a legal status.

  • Re:NIMBY (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @11:09AM (#46066273) Homepage

    Well, sure, our totally incompetent government workers could lose track of nuclear materials, but if we simply entrust this stuff to private corporations, all our problems will go away.

    Oh, wait....

    http://stateimpact.npr.org/tex... [npr.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @11:23AM (#46066333)

    Sheese. The Threat of the Month club. Every hospital in the world has mildly radioactive material. Even bananas are slightly radioactive. Even worse, many homes contain highly explosive natural gas. Even more worser, we are all being poisoned by bread containing gluten. Get a grip.

  • Re:FEAR! (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @11:24AM (#46066341) Journal
    Aside from the (rare, mostly found in spacecraft or from the golden age of 'soviets + radioisotopes = even crazier party than americans + radioisotopes') radiothermal generators, the sealed sources of the type being fretted about are pretty much entirely unrelated to nuclear power generation...

    There is periodic fretting about security at nuclear generating facilities; but those are relatively scarce, relatively centralized, and, while they do deal in pretty large amounts of radioactive material compared to most other users, need stuff shipped hither and yon only infrequently.

    The industrial, scientific, and medical emitters are comparatively puny; but there are lots and lots of them, scattered all over the place, and relatively frequently shipped around.

    Essentially unrelated applications with only minimal overlap in risk.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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