While politicians continue to push for wars in places like Syria to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, they tend to ignore the much greater amounts of radioactive material available in this and neighboring countries at hospitals and other institutions. This week we saw just how easy it is to acquire such material capable of being used as a weapon. Thieves simply hijacked a truck with medical waste that would have allowed them to create a potent radioactive dirty bomb. It was a mistake and they likely paid for the mistake with their lives.
The carjackers jumped and beat the driver and his assistant in a Volkswagen truck on its way to a storage facility in Mexico.
Mexican police did a wide search and today the material was found outside of its container. The thieves probably had no idea what they had stolen and the police have concluded “They will, without a doubt, die.”
These thieves will die simply from coming into contact with the material. Consider what it could have meant if made into a direct bomb and spread over a wide area in a major city. Of course, dealing with this source of radioactive material is controversial and faces an army of lobbyists representing hospitals and businesses. However, with the proliferation of such machines in virtually every country, it is remarkably easy to gain access to such material for a terrorist organization with basic training for a dirty bomb.
Source: Washington Post
15 thoughts on “Mexican Police Find Missing Containers Of Cobalt-60”
Where did you get the sources for this?
Costly price for a couple of car thieves to pay. Hope they didn’t take the Cobalt 60 to their home.
Did the print on the turleyblog here get bigger this morning? My computer screen shows 100% but I am looking at a bigger set of Font.
“Radiological sources used in medicine and industry should not be feared as they are part and parcel of our very existence.”
Beg to differ. The extremely radioactive Cesium hauled and ‘lifted’ in Mexico, came from a hospital (thus it was “used in medicine…”
Let’s hope no government gets its hands on the stuff.
It has been shown ad nauseam that they are not to be trusted with the stuff either.
RE NS’s remarks —
These thieves might have died opening up dangerous chemicals or biological materials as easily as radioactive medical waste.
It is clear that “dirty bombs” and nuclear weapons used by terrorists are a very tenuous threat since the former has never been detonated (and only two ever known to be built) and the latter is unlikely in the extreme, though not to be guarded against with reasonable precaution. Any state would be insane to give a nuclear weapon to terrorists. The only real reason we should be concerned about these potential threats is if one were ever detonated the results have a chance to be devastating, though no more so than some of our rather regular natural storms and fires. The sad truth is that “radiation” is a boogey man word despite the fact that all of us are bombarded with radiation every day and in fact could not flourish or perhaps even live without it.
We need to get past this irrational fear of radiation and nuclear energy and begin again to put it to good use. If we were to convert and replace our existing poorly designed and dangerous light water nuclear plants (using water is archaic and unwise) with passive Gen III+ and Gen IV plants we would be easily able to produce our needed base power (these reactors use 95% of the power in uranium rather than 5% so waste is far less an issue) for hundreds of years (and then thorium could be used for thousands more) without adding anything to global warming while providing safe havens for storing and even using up weapons grade nuclear materials as well as medical materials.
Eneergy is the future so remember, compared to their fossil fuel competition, fission reactors are incredibly cheap and produce virtually zero waste that needs to be dumped into the atmosphere. The “all-in” cost for nuclear fuel is just 65 cents per million BTU. That compares to coal at $2.50-$4.00, natural gas at $3.50-$15.00 and oil at >$20.00. Far more people have been killed by coal, gas and oil in the last 50 years than by commercial nuclear power and we can easily make nuclear far far safer in the future if we can avoid irrational fear and sensationalism.
“It is truly chilling to think of the failure of governments including ours to focus on real problems instead of working hard to create them.” -“Justice Holmes”
The greatest danger posed to humans in the event of a radiological “dirty bomb” detonation would be from the blast wave and debris created via the conventional explosives used not from the radiological material as the explosion would not result in fission but rather the potential dispersal of the radiological material.
The potential dispersal of the radiological material used in a dirty bomb is based upon several factors: amount/type of conventional explosives used, amount/type of radiological material used, local wind/weather patterns and local geography.
A “dirty bomb” however is an excellent method of area denial as it could potentially disperse radioactive contamination over a large area (rendering it uninhabitable to humans for years) depending upon the type/amount of conventional explosives used and the type/amount of radiological material used.
Radiological sources used in medicine and industry should not be feared as they are part and parcel of our very existence.
“It is truly chilling to think of the failure of governments including ours to focus on real problems instead of working hard to create them.” (Justice Holmes)
Truer words that bear emphasis and repeating.
Reblogged this on Brittius.com.
In Ciudad Juarez (across the international border from El Paso) it wasn’t a dirty bomb, just a dirty pickup truck.
There is no guarantee this could not happen in the US. It is truly chilling to think of the failure of governments including ours to focus on real problems instead of working hard to create them. Wars are so much more dramatic and headline grabbing!
Can be used for making the so called dirty bombs…… I love it…. Proper waste disposal in Mexico…..
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