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
Add to Briefcase
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.

What We're Following See More »
TO VISIT US TROOPS
John McCain Paid Secret Visit To Syria
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.

Source:
‘MORE WITH LESS’
Trump Budget to Call for Major Cuts
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration will deliver its first budget to Congress in mid-March, and the president confirmed Wednesday it will contain major cuts for federal agencies." The blueprint, expected to be released in mid-March, will not include the kinds of specifics usually seen in White House budgets, but rather will instruct the heads of agencies to "do more with less."

Source:
DEFERENCE TO PRESIDENT
More Republicans Trust Trump than GOP Members
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
PAC WILL TARGET INCUMBENTS
Sanders Acolytes Taking the Movement Local
11 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."

Source:
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
12 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login