RealNews

Addressing the Unthinkable, U.S. Revives Study of Fallout

To cope with the possibility that terrorists might someday detonate a nuclear bomb on American soil, the federal government is reviving a scientific art that was lost after the cold war: fallout analysis. The goal, officials and weapons experts both inside and outside the government say, is to figure out quickly who exploded such a bomb and where the nuclear material came from. That would clarify the options for striking back. Officials also hope that if terrorists know a bomb can be traced, they will be less likely to try to use one. In a secretive effort that began five years ago but whose outlines are just now becoming known, the government’s network of weapons laboratories is hiring new experts, calling in old-timers, dusting off data and holding drills to sharpen its ability to do what is euphemistically known as nuclear attribution or post-event forensics. Full Story

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