Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Unsecured 'Dirty Bomb' Material Found In Asia: Report

Sydney (AFP) Aug 29, 2005
Australian nuclear experts working to prevent a "dirty bomb" attack by terrorists have found large unsecured sources of dangerous radioactive material in southeast Asia, a report said Monday.

A team from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) discovered enough loose material to contaminate the heart of a major city, the Australian newspaper reported.

At one site a "substantial" piece of cobalt used for cancer therapy had been found abandoned after a radiation centre was closed.

A conventional bomb wrapped around a small stick of cobalt could contaminate a large area of a city, dramatically boost cancer rates and force residents out for decades, scientists say.

"There are two countries where we have located quite large sources," ANSTO's chief of operations, Ron Cameron, told the paper. He declined to identify the countries until the material had been properly secured.

About 25 other radiation centres were also being investigated in a third country, he said.

The ready availability of loose radioactive material suitable for dirty bombs had been a concern of Australia for the past year, and officials had been working with US experts to locate and secure it, Cameron said.

"The system is only as strong as the weakest link. If there's an area of the world where terrorists can get hold of the material then that's where they'll go," he said.

Secure storage areas had been built and systems created to track, control and secure radioactive material left over from medical and industrial use.

The Federation of American Scientists told the US Senate in 2002 that a dirty bomb using a single stick of radioactive cobalt about an inch (2.54 cm) in diameter and a foot (30 cm) long could sharply increase the risk of cancer in an area covering 300 city blocks for 40 years.

"It would be decades before the city was inhabitable again, and demolition might be necessary," the scientists said.

Concern that Australia, which has troops in Iraq, could be a target for a terrorist attack has risen sharply since the London bombings in July, and the government is considering tougher counter-terrorism legislation and security measures.

Related Links
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

US Shrugs Off North Korea's Move To Delay Return To Nuclear Talks
Washington (AFP) Aug 29, 2005
The United States played down North Korea's move Monday to seek a two-week delay in resumption of talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons drive, saying it saw no signs Pyongyang was retreating from its commitment to the negotiations.

  • Common Interests Bring China And Russia Together
  • First China-Russia War Games End But Future Drills Mulled
  • US Hopes Sino-Russian Maneuvers Don't Destablize Region
  • US Congress Urged To Press For Details On Plan For Global Troop Realignment

  • Unsecured 'Dirty Bomb' Material Found In Asia: Report
  • US Shrugs Off North Korea's Move To Delay Return To Nuclear Talks
  • Six Party Talks Poised For Breakdown
  • Iran Claims New Nuclear Breakthrough

  • Army Conducts First In-Theater Tests Of Locmart's Guided MLRS Unitary Rocket
  • Hellfire Thermobaric Warhead Approved For Production
  • Lockheed Martin Successfully Tests Loitering Attack Missile Warhead
  • Lockheed Martin Successful In Boosted Penetrator Test

  • BMD Still On Track, Says Obering
  • BMD Watch: Indians Play Down Pak Missile
  • Orbital Successfully Launches Second Target Rocket For MDA's CMCM-1 Program
  • BMD Focus: US, China Duel In South Asia

  • Japan, US Consider Floating Runway For US Military Training: Report
  • GE, Rolls-Royce Win 2.4 Billion Dollar Joint Strike Engine Deal
  • Energia Makes A Big Show At MAKS
  • ESA At Russia's Annual MAKS Expo

  • Beale's Global Hawk Mission Extends Worldwide
  • SDS To Provide A High-Fidelity MQ-1B Predator Training System To The USAF
  • Drone Crashes In Iran: Reports
  • Teledyne Awarded FCS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Contract

  • Sunni Revolt Could Get Far Worse: Report
  • Outside View: Exiting Iraq
  • Bottom-Line: Divide And Con-Stitution
  • Outside View: U.S. Getting Tired In Iraq

  • Integrating Advanced Weapons On Current Aircraft, Sooner and at Lower Cost
  • DRS To Produce Infrared Assemblies For Javelin Missile Command Launch Unit
  • NGC Selected as Lead System Integrator for U.S. FIRRE Program
  • Northrop Grumman Delivers Bid For Air Force Electronic Attack Requirement

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement