Monday, June 21, 2010
CBS 60 Minutes reviews raid on Pelindaba nuclear plant in South Africa; brazen attempt to steal HEU
The video, set in dry countryside that looks a lot like inland southern California, documented how saboteurs defeated the electric fence and disabled the current to it.
The highly enriched uranium is itself not very radioactive and be carried away to other sites to manufacture crude nuclear weapons. The thieves did not succeed this time in stealing any HEU. But the attempt was brazen, somewhat an "Oceans 11" "smash and grab job" with nefarious planning.
CBS also has a link to a May 3 story by Dan Farber, “Nuclear attack a ticking time bomb, experts say”, with link here. The average young American has a statistically significant chance of being affected by a nuclear exchange during his lifetime, even dying from it. For example, the article says “In a 2005 survey of 85 national security experts, 60 percent of the respondents assessed the odds of a nuclear attack within 10 years at between 10 and 50 percent, with an average of 29.2 percent. Nearly 80 percent of respondents expected the attack to originate with a terrorist group.”
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Attribution link for Wikipedia Hiroshima picture