The Dystopian Nuclear Future

I read this and I wonder why it has taken as long as it has. AP INVESTIGATION: Nuclear Smugglers Sought Terrorist Buyers

In the backwaters of Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted four attempts in the past five years by gangs with suspected Russian connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists, The Associated Press has learned. The latest known case came in February this year, when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium — enough to contaminate several city blocks — and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State group.

There are many parts to this story in the news today. Some tie the Eastern Europeans selling the stuff to the KGB – and its follow-on organization – because a lot of those folks still hold a tremendous hatred for the USA. Remember when some Presidential candidate said something about Russia being a foreign-policy concern and the “the smartest man in the room” mocked him for being stuck in the 1980s? Too bad the media doesn’t remember.

At one point the middleman told an informant posing as a buyer that it was essential that the smuggled uranium go to Arabs.

“He said to the informant on a wire: ‘I really want an Islamic buyer because they will bomb the Americans,'” said Malic, the investigator.

U-235 is one of the items being sold. Can you spell “nuclear fission?” Think, Hiroshima. While this isn’t the type of weapon that USA (or USSR in its day) fielded, a gun-type enriched uranium bomb is “straightforward if not trivial to design.” The Hiroshima bomb was not tested for example. It was deemed that as long as the U-235 was pure enough, nothing could go wrong. Nothing did go wrong.

So are we on the verge of a dystopian nuclear holocaust? Probably not. Does the fact that ISIS wants weapons of mass destruction and there are people willing to sell the same mean everything is fine? Definitely not.

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2 thoughts on “The Dystopian Nuclear Future

  1. I wouldn’t be too worried about this; other articles and studies show that the majority of nuclear material being peddled by similar dealers and smugglers is fake – in such transactions, all the buyer can do is use a geiger counter to check for radioactivity; smearing an object with radioactive medical waste will make it pass the test, and it will only be much later that an end user finds out they were swindled.

    • This isn’t so much a case of charlatans defrauding the Muslims, this is a case of ex-KGB agents – like Putin but probably not Putin – who have a strong hatred of the USA and want to get back at us (and the west generally) for destroying the old Soviet Union. The folks in charge of the USSR had it good. And that included the KGB et al. Now, they don’t have it so good. (Again, except a few like Putin) but they do know where the bodies (or the U-235) is buried.

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