U.S. Confirms Effort to Phase Out Selected ‘Dirty Bomb’ Materials

President Obama attends the opening session of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit on Monday in The Hague, Netherlands. At the summit, U.S. officials confirmed a new effort to phase out certain radiological materials that could be used in "dirty bomb."
National Journal
Douglas P. Guarino
March 24, 2014, 10:07 a.m.

U.S. of­fi­cials con­firmed on Monday that they will launch an ef­fort to help lim­it the pro­spect of “dirty bomb” at­tacks by work­ing to phase out cer­tain ra­di­olo­gic­al ma­ter­i­als.

“The United States in­tends to es­tab­lish an in­ter­na­tion­al re­search ef­fort on the feas­ib­il­ity of re­pla­cing high-activ­ity ra­di­olo­gic­al sources with non-iso­top­ic re­place­ment tech­no­lo­gies, with the goal of pro­du­cing a glob­al al­tern­at­ive by 2016,” states a U.S. “pro­gress re­port,” re­leased Monday at the Nuc­le­ar Se­cur­ity Sum­mit in the Neth­er­lands.

This uni­lat­er­al “house gift” that U.S. of­fi­cials offered at the bi­en­ni­al gath­er­ing of world lead­ers fol­lows calls from non­pro­lif­er­a­tion ad­voc­ates for the United States and United King­dom to lead an ef­fort that could en­able a glob­al phase-out of se­lec­ted ra­di­olo­gic­al ma­ter­i­als used in the med­ic­al field.

As Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire re­por­ted last week, a re­port from James Mar­tin Cen­ter for Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Stud­ies sug­ges­ted that hos­pit­als and blood banks move away from the use of cesi­um chlor­ide. The ra­dio­act­ive sub­stance presently is used for ir­ra­di­at­ing blood pri­or to trans­fu­sion, in or­der to pre­vent a rare but leth­al com­plic­a­tion known as graft-versus-host dis­ease.

Paired with con­ven­tion­al ex­plos­ives, such sub­stances could po­ten­tially be dis­persed over a wide area in a dirty bomb at­tack, cre­at­ing dan­ger­ous con­tam­in­a­tion.

The re­port says blood could be ir­ra­di­ated in­stead with elec­tro­mag­net­ic ra­di­ation, such as X-rays or ul­tra­vi­olet light, or by lin­ear ac­cel­er­at­ors that many hos­pit­als already have on hand for can­cer treat­ments.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
1 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×