RealNews

Experts to Discuss 'Dirty Bomb' Defense

Scientists, police commanders and government officials from more than 100 countries are converging on Vienna for the world’s first “dirty bomb” conference, searching for ways to head off the threat of simple weapons that spread radiation and chaos. Governments are concerned. A recent U.S. experts’ report concludes that tens of thousands of the most dangerous radiation sources worldwide — used to treat cancer, find oil deposits, disinfect food — may be insufficiently protected. A so-called dirty bomb — conventional explosives combined with radioactive material — has yet to be detonated anywhere. But the al-Qaida network is reported to have been interested in trying such a terror weapon. When it comes to safeguarding cesium, strontium and other radiation sources, “what may have been sufficient in the past may or may not be now,” U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in an interview ahead of Tuesday’s conference opening. His deputies acknowledge the dirty-bomb threat was rarely even thought of before the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The worry is not of mass immediate deaths, as in the 2001 attacks, but of the spread of radiation that might cause immediate panic, because of fear of long-term illness, and make sections of cities uninhabitable for years. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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