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Security at colleges with nuke plants ABC

UtahBill

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The ABC network did a test at most, if not all, of the security at research nuclear facilities at colleges across the nation. Their people were able to walk in to the buildings unchallenged nearly all the time. Female journalists got in easier since most of the students at the nukes are young horny males.
Many times, they were able to get right up to the open tops of "pool" reactors while carrying bags or backpacks. They could have dropped a bomb in the reactors easily enough, creating a "dirty bomb" situation.
That IS bad, but the narrator kept repeating the same thing over and over again that is misleading. He kept telling us how much in kilograms each facility has, and then telling us how much it takes to make a nuclear bomb.
He was trying to make the public think that terrorists can go in, steal the "highly enriched weapons grade uranium" and go make a nuclear bomb.
Fact is, once fuel has been "lit off" the first time, it becomes so radioactive that removing it from the water is fatal to the persons doing it, and fatal to anyone coming near it until it somehow gets into a special shipping cask that is so big and heavy that it takes a tractor-trailer rig to haul the cask. The only fuel that can be safely handled is new fuel. So the facilities making fuel grade Uranium are a bigger security risk.
Granted, their point about security was valid, and the dirty bomb scenario is valid, altho it would only possible at the colleges only, but to suggest that a nuclear bomb can be made is media bias at its worst.
 
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Hmmm, how long can a person endure exposure to unshielded weapons grade uranium before they are incapacitated? Someone intent on suicide, hopped up on near-lethal levels of anti-radiation medication...not a pretty picture.

But it sounds like the only problem is these things being guarded by horny young men easily wooed by female reporters. I think that the girls on these college campuses need to be doing their part in making sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again.:lol: This is a matter of national security, after all. "Better safe than sorry," as I like to say.:mrgreen:

But, the media has been trying to scare the bejesus out of their audiences for ratings since before it made the leap from town gossip to pamphlets; how does this evince any bias we haven't come to implicitly expect?
 

UtahBill

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Befuddled_Stoner said:
Hmmm, how long can a person endure exposure to unshielded weapons grade uranium before they are incapacitated? Someone intent on suicide, hopped up on near-lethal levels of anti-radiation medication...not a pretty picture.
Since a terrorist would be holding it next to his body while running away with it, the instant reaction is severe incapacitating illness, followed by a quick and painful death. It would have to be a relay race just to get it to a heavy duty truck that must have a lot of lead shielding. Once in the truck, the drivers would have to "relay" as well.
Think of it as being inside a huge powerful microwave oven capable of cooking an entire cow in 20 minutes. Anti-radiation sickness medicines are no help at those levels of radiation.:(
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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UtahBill said:
but to suggest that a nuclear bomb can be made is media bias at its worst.
Man are you generous, or what?

The clowns in front of the camera and the jokers writing the stories don't have the education you and I did. They're not biased. Well, okay, they're biased. More importantly they're more ignorant than a box of rocks.

They think a moderator is the guy that pitched soft-balls to Kerry in the Presidential debates, and that a neutron has just been driven off the showroom floor. And I could teach my parrot to say "isotope", too.

They majored in journalism in college, what should we expect?
 

UtahBill

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Man are you generous, or what?

The clowns in front of the camera and the jokers writing the stories don't have the education you and I did. They're not biased. Well, okay, they're biased. More importantly they're more ignorant than a box of rocks.

They think a moderator is the guy that pitched soft-balls to Kerry in the Presidential debates, and that a neutron has just been driven off the showroom floor. And I could teach my parrot to say "isotope", too.

They majored in journalism in college, what should we expect?
It could be worse, they could be political "science" majors.
I attended Navy nuke school, class of 66-1, served on SSN590, the USS Sculpin. You?
 

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UtahBill said:
It could be worse, they could be political "science" majors.
I attended Navy nuke school, class of 66-1, served on SSN590, the USS Sculpin. You?
Was the class of 80-2, and eventually wound up as a plankowner of the USS LaJolla, SSN 701. Machinists Mate.
 

UtahBill

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Was the class of 80-2, and eventually wound up as a plankowner of the USS LaJolla, SSN 701. Machinists Mate.
Electronics Tech for me. Nuke School was absolutely the hardest school I ever attended. ET-B school was a bit hard, but a cakewalk compared to Nuke School. My 3 years of college, Electronics Technology major, half time and doing it at night classes, and taking 8 years to accomplish, was nothing compared to Nuke School. You pretty much have to put your life on hold to get throught it. I did, anyway. If I hadn't experienced it myself, I would not have believed that so much knowledge can be crammed into students in so short a time.
And while I was living in Idaho, I had a neighbor lady who became a secretary at the Navy Facility. After being out there a few months, she had the nerve to try to tell me all about it, getting it wrong, of course. That was around 1980, maybe a few years later. I explained to her that since I had been in or around nuclear plants for 15 years, I was qualified to tell her she was dumb as a post. Did that in front of her husband, and he just smiled. He didn't have the stones to say something like that to her.
Where did you do your training? I did Vallejo and then Idaho. Found a wife there as well. Lots of sailors did that. Those farm girls sure wanted to get the hell out of Idaho.:lol:
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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MM A School on Great Lakes, Nuke school in Orlando, and prototype training on the good old S1W plant in Idaho. And, yeah, designing a cargo transport aircraft for the AIAA individual student design competition was easier than passing Nuclear Power School. I picked up a wife with the submarine. Left her with it, too. :lol: Those Connecticut girls weren't much different from the Idaho girls.
 

UtahBill

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
MM A School on Great Lakes, Nuke school in Orlando, and prototype training on the good old S1W plant in Idaho. And, yeah, designing a cargo transport aircraft for the AIAA individual student design competition was easier than passing Nuclear Power School. I picked up a wife with the submarine. Left her with it, too. :lol: Those Connecticut girls weren't much different from the Idaho girls.
Still got mine, 38 years as of Friday. Great cook!!! 145 Pounds when I met her, 190 pounds now.
I did ET-A at Glakes, nearly froze my ass off there in winter of 64-65. This east Texas boy did not know what cold was until then. Did my best for the rest of my 12 years active to stay out of the cold areas.:mrgreen:
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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But to get somewhere closer to the thread's intent:

Make a nuclear reactor in your garage:

http://www.dangerouslaboratories.org/radscout.html

He was determined to irradiate anything he could, and decided to build a neutron "gun." To obtain radioactive materials, David used a number of cover stories and concocted a new identity.

He wrote to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), claiming to be a physics instructor at Chippewa Valley High School. The agency's director of isotope production and distribution, Donald Erb, offered him tips on isolating and obtaining radioactive elements, and explained the characteristics of some isotopes, which, when bombarded with neutrons, can sustain a chain reaction.

When David asked about the risks, Erb assured him that the "dangers are very slight," since "possession of any radioactive materials in quantities and forms sufficient to pose any hazard is subject to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (or equivalent) licensing."

David learned that a tiny amount of the radioactive isotope americium-241 could be found in smoke detectors. he contacted smoke-detector companies and claimed that he needed a large number for a school project. One company sold him about a hundred broken detectors for a dollar apiece.

Not sure where the americium was located, he wrote to an electronics firm in Illinois. A customer-service representative wrote back to say she'd be happy to help out with "your report." Thanks to her help, David extracted the material. He put the americium inside a hollow block of lead with a tiny hole pricked in one side so that alpha rays would stream out. In front of the block he placed a sheet of aluminum, its atoms absorb alpha rays and kick out neutrons. His neutron gun was ready.

The mantle in gas lanterns, the small cloth pouch over the flame, is coated with a compound containing thorium-232. When bombarded with neutrons it produces uranium-233, which is fissionable. David bought thousands of lantern mantles from surplus stores and blowtorched them into a pile of ash.

To isolate the thorium from the ash, he purchased $1000 worth of lithium batteries and cut them in half with wire cutters. He placed the lithium and thorium ash together in a ball of aluminum foil and heated the ball with a Bunsen burner. This purified the thorium to at least 9000 times the level found in nature, and up to 170 times the level that requires NRC licensing. But David's americium gun wasn't strong enough to transform thorium into uranium.
The terrorists on September 11th didn't fly a B52 and drop bombs on our cities. Our military was prepared for that. They found a weak spot and exploited it.

Getting radioactive material from colleges or from our own nuclear power plants is obvious, as would raiding medical supplies. But that boy found a way to contaminate his neighborhood while simply playing.

It's an area of weakness the enemy might exploit.

Pie tins. Who'd've thunk?
 

UtahBill

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Scary chit, man. There is a lot of loose nuke stuff in hospitals as well. Remember way back, oh, 20 years ago, when some of it ended up in a salvage yard in Mexico? Made some people sick, got mixed in with other scrap and made into re-bar, came over the border, etc? I forget the details, but it was a mess.
A dirty bomb would be easy to make. I know a guy who works on medical imaging equipment, so I will ask him what kind of security controls they have.
 
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