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Mexico's Stolen Radiation Truck: It Could Happen In the US

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the every-moral-panic-is-the-very-worst-one dept.

Crime 105

Lasrick writes "Tom Bielefeld, a physicist specializing in nuclear security, writes a detailed article that has some surprising revelations about nuclear security in the U.S. (and elsewhere). Although some security measures have been tightened since 9/11, the US does not require transports of category-1 to be protected by armed guards, and individual states don't have to provide lists of 'safe havens' to the transport company (and they often don't). And at hospitals and other buildings that house radioactive materials and devices, 'security conditions remain hair-raising, even when these facilities have been checked by inspectors.'"

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No shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066127)

The south-west quarter of the United States basically is Mexico, both historically and even today. There are more Mexicans living there than there are Americans. So of course if something can happen in Mexico, it can happen in a huge swath of the United States. So much of the United States is basically just like Mexico. Trying to make a distinction between the two is quite pointless.

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066179)

There are more Mexicans living there than there are Americans. ... Trying to make a distinction between the two is quite pointless.

So what's the difference between a Mexican and an American?

Re:No shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066195)

One is shit colored?

Re:No shit. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066199)

About 100 lb?

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46069477)

About 100 lb?

Funny?
Then just above:

One is shit colored?

Troll?

You mods are hypocrite and racist.

Re:No shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46071737)

Not really. 'Muricans are (by and large) fat as fuck and it's their fault for eating so much. You don't get to decide your skin color unless you're white and lie out in the sun all day. That you can't see the difference says nothing really other than you're stupid.

Re:No shit. (1, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#46066209)

A Mexican is an immigrant, or a migrant, and likely an illegal alien. An American citizen was either born here, with a US birth certificate, or a naturalized citizen. The difference is a legal status.

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066915)

All Mexicans live in the U.S.?

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46067321)

sure fucking seems like it

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46070841)

What a bigoted comment. You are wrong. A Mexican is a citizen of Mexico, regardless of where they currently are. Furthermore, no one is illegal. It's not possible by definition. Stop letting the propogandists manipulate you like a puppet.

So what's the difference between a Mexican and an American?

The difference is that Mexican women are attractive.

- SMI

Re:No shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066261)

Tequila.

Re:No shit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066381)

There are more Mexicans living there than there are Americans. ... Trying to make a distinction between the two is quite pointless.

So what's the difference between a Mexican and an American?

A mexican is an american.
But when you just say "american", the person could be from anywhere in america, from canada to argentina.
So you can't really compare those terms.

Re:No shit. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46066563)

sharpies.

totally misused and abused sharpie markers.

Re:No shit. (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46067379)

About $10 an hour . . .

A lot of businesses, especially meat processing plants, prefer to hire illegal immigrants from Mexico because if they're injured on the job rather than deal with OSHA and worker's comp they can just fire them and have La Migra ship them back to Mexico at taxpayer expense.

Re:No shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46069545)

Yeah he has a point. If the 'Murkan companies weren't being corrupt and abusing cheap labour then the Mexicans wouldn't be coming and stealing all the jobs that you don't want. Pay them a fair wage and the "best man" will get the job. Alas, the Mexican will still often be the best man for many of the jobs.

At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (5, Interesting)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 9 months ago | (#46066131)

radioactive gold kept disappearing. After a while a staff member's wife or fiance turned up and had radiation poisoning to her hand--someone was taking the gold to make a wedding ring, and didn't know it was radioactive.

I'm sure security is a little better than it was then, but small amounts of radioactive material will probably always be gettable.

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066267)

The lesson is clear: when you steal, God poisons your hand.

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

etnoy (664495) | about 9 months ago | (#46066269)

radioactive gold kept disappearing. After a while a staff member's wife or fiance turned up and had radiation poisoning to her hand--someone was taking the gold to make a wedding ring, and didn't know it was radioactive.

Source for that? I'd love to read more about this. I didn't find anything through google-fu.

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066377)

For me, "gold radioactive wedding ring" gives first link of: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1243&dat=19810127&id=R_pXAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vvYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3348,1959438 [google.com]

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 9 months ago | (#46068307)

Yes--that's going to be the same series of incidents.

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 9 months ago | (#46066453)

Source for that? I'd love to read more about this. I didn't find anything through google-fu.

Hospital staff at the time. I doubt it made any of the papers, but don't know.

Must not have thought the marriage would last... (5, Funny)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#46066303)

According the Wikipedia, the longest-lived radioactive gold isotope is Au-195, with a half life of only 186 days.

Re:Must not have thought the marriage would last.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066365)

But she would have had a platinum ring instead.

Re:Must not have thought the marriage would last.. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#46066701)

Or Mercury

Re:Must not have thought the marriage would last.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066501)

Yeah, this sounded like bunk to me to, but I found some real facts. The rings were made from gold beads which had been filled with radon and implanted in people. It's the radon decay products causing the radiation, not the gold. Here's a real journal article [nih.gov] about this problem.

Re:Must not have thought the marriage would last.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46072145)

Well, geez, what could that mean? Oh, right: the metal in question was a mix of gold and something radioactive. It got stolen for the gold, and the radioactive part caused injury. Mystery solved.

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#46066353)

I hope that they were keeping the staff who didn't know about sealed-source radiotherapy away from the patients...

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 months ago | (#46066523)

This is normal when the machine is smarter than the staff.

Re:At a NY Hospital a few decades ago... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 9 months ago | (#46072241)

I hope that they were keeping the staff who didn't know about sealed-source radiotherapy away from the patients...

Think back to the kids who graduated in your class in whatever major you had. Remember that half of them were below-average. The same is true in every profession...

NIMBY (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#46066141)

No way. Couldn't happen here! Not in a million years. Someone is smoking some really strange shit to think we could just lose some radioactive material here in the US of A.

Oh - wait. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2... [wikipedia.org]

Re:NIMBY (4, Informative)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#46066273)

Well, sure, our totally incompetent government workers could lose track of nuclear materials, but if we simply entrust this stuff to private corporations, all our problems will go away.

Oh, wait....

http://stateimpact.npr.org/tex... [npr.org]

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066611)

The truth of the matter is that private corporations have an incentive to do a lot better than the government, mainly because they have a lot more skin in the game. If something goes wrong the private corporation is a lot more likely to suffer consequences than the government. The local and international regulations put on corporations for source tracking and handling are quite stringent.

Source: I am a qualified handler and transporter of category 2 gamma and neutron sources for a very large, and evil, corporation.

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066919)

local and international regulations

Those apply to government employees as well, sprinkled over with work safety regulations and agreements with the (national) local unions. Since governments like to circle and play Monopoly with the tax money more than they like running actual jobs, they tend to outsource complicated and those difficult to measure service jobs to private sector.

Re:NIMBY (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#46067901)

Those apply to government employees as well

It's worth keeping in mind that this isn't true for three reasons. First, the US government has a history of not complying with safety and environmental regulation, particularly in the area of storage of nuclear waste.

Second, the US government has a history of exempting government agencies and politicians from regulation. For example, for many decades, it was legal for congresspeople to trade on insider knowledge.

Then there's sovereign immunity which prevents the US government from being sued for a variety of mischief. For example, the US is immune to lawsuits unless it has explicitly waived its immunity (usually via a law) or consented to the lawsuit.

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46070015)

Some great ways to cause people to mistrust and even hate their government.

Re:NIMBY (2)

AJWM (19027) | about 9 months ago | (#46068485)

It depends.

I'll agree with you where management of said private corporations is less than usually psychopathic or where regulatory inspections are frequent and/or the cost of doing it right is not dramatically more than taking shortcuts.

Where there's more money to be made by taking those shortcuts, and management doesn't care about public consequences or thinks the risk of getting caught is low, then government can (not necessarily will, depending) do a better job because there's no profit bottom line to worry about. Indeed, doing a proper job may well mean a bigger staff and budget which is a plus to bureaucrats.

Re:NIMBY Oh Sure... The LAW protects us... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 9 months ago | (#46071469)

......If something goes wrong the private corporation is a lot more likely to suffer consequences than the government. The local and international regulations put on corporations for source tracking and handling are quite stringent.

....I feel much better now. Government has been totally effective at assuring that corporations suffer consequences. Especially these days, since they pay to elect all of the lawmakers who deny culpability, bail them out, and then are retained as their consultants. America has nothing to worry about. Democracy works just the way we like it.

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066805)

Government good, business bad. +85 Insightful!! Yay

Radioactive materials get stolen [kunc.org] routinely in the US. Troxler gauges are portable devices used to measure moisture content and material density. Like anything else found at a construction site, these are subject to frequent theft. Usually they go missing in a stolen vehicle, trailer or whatnot. Reselling devices that are individually licensed by the NRC isn't really feasible; nobody wants a hot Troxler gauge.

You may read about these events here [nrc.gov] . Moisture gauges aren't anywhere near as dangerous as Cobalt isotopes, but these events are reported and the thefts are pursued vigorously and the equipment is usually recovered. If an actual category-1 device went missing in the US the pursuit would be brief.

We generally know who the miscreants are among us, and when Government can be bothered to deal with them because the stakes are high it doesn't take long.

Re:NIMBY (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#46067239)

All well and good, but the source discussed in the article I linked wasn't stolen, it was just lost because of incompetence.

Re:NIMBY (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 9 months ago | (#46068277)

Most doctor's offices and dentist's offices aren't well protected either. I don't know where or how to extract the radioactive materials from imaging units, but it's just sitting there every night and most weekends, unguarded.

I did some work for a small medical clinic a while back. They put a lot of work into the shielding of the room, and the lockup cabinet for drugs, but their after-hours security was a standard commercial alarm system and motion sensors. LEO response time there was about 5 to 10 minutes. So if you knew the equipment, you could probably ungracefully extract it and leave before anyone showed up.

I don't know what they use for their radiation source, but I'm guessing it's something you don't really want to carry around in your pocket.

I'd just believe most people aren't hitting those offices for radioactive materials, when there are perfectly good drugs to steal and sell that will turn an easier profit.

Re: NIMBY (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 9 months ago | (#46069307)

Just get a job at the facility and you don't even trip an alarm for your trouble.

Re:NIMBY (2)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#46072891)

Your average doctor or dentist won't have a radioactive source (a chunk of a radioactive isotope such as the Co-60 stolen in Mexico), only an X-ray machine.

The source in an X-ray machine is a specialized vacuum tube that is completely inert and harmless unless connected to power supplies and energized. Of absolutely no value for building a "dirty bomb" or whatever...

Re:NIMBY (1)

painandgreed (692585) | about 9 months ago | (#46086187)

Imaging units don't have a radioactive component. The only radioactive isotopes I think you'll normally find in a radiology department will be in nuclear medicine. In these cases it is injected as a drug and in many cases, because of the time limit on the drug's radioactivity, the cost, and supply chain changes, the drug isn't even ordered from the outside supplier until the day of the exam or sometimes till the patient has arrived.

Re:NIMBY (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#46072173)

Those aren't "nuclear materials"; nuclear materials are materials related to atomic weapons.

All they did was lose a piece of "radioactive material". Dangerous, to be sure, but no more so than many industrial chemicals. There is no reason for the government to track radioactive materials.

Referring to radioactive materials as nuclear materials is scare mongering and FUD. Shame on you.

Tell that to the NRC... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 9 months ago | (#46072983)

They specifically include "byproduct materials" in their definition (along with "source materials" and "special nuclear materials", the weapons grade stuff you refer to), which includes just about every radioisotope with commercial or medical applications...

http://www.nrc.gov/materials.h... [nrc.gov]

Re:Tell that to the NRC... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#46073279)

Not that I would put it past the NRC to attempt to redefine the meaning of the word "nuclear", but you're misreading that. It says: "byproduct material" is "nuclear material (other than special nuclear material) that is produced or made radioactive in a nuclear reactor". It doesn't say "radioactive material ... produced".

No matter what NRC pages say, the fact remains, the term "nuclear" does not refer to all radioactive materials:

http://dictionary.reference.co... [reference.com]

Re:Tell that to the NRC... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 9 months ago | (#46073295)

Incidentally, Cobalt-60 is often produced without a nuclear reactor.

Re:NIMBY (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#46066411)

Shocking as cock-ups like that are I don't think we need to worry about terrorists getting hold of nuclear material. It's just not a credible threat, they don't have the expertise to build dirty bombs with it and are not really interested in doing so anyway.

Time and time again we see how dumb terrorists are, going after extremely difficult targets like aircraft and failing, when there are much easier options available to them. It's easy for us to imagine lots of ways that people could harm us, but movie plot threats are not worth worrying about.

Re:NIMBY (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#46067493)

Time and time again we see how dumb terrorists are, going after extremely difficult targets like aircraft and failing, when there are much easier options available to them. It's easy for us to imagine lots of ways that people could harm us, but movie plot threats are not worth worrying about.

Exactly what makes us here in the US look so retarded in attacking our own rights and freedoms in the interest of snake oil security, and making such a big deal over all this.

Re:NIMBY (2)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46069453)

The media does a great job glossing over a fundamental problem with dirty bombs. You have to shield it well enough to get it to it's deployment before it kills you, but it then has to disperse it's contents widely to be even vaguely effective.

The shielding also has to protect the detonator so it still works by the time it's supposed to go off.

As we have seen, a truck full of ANFO is fairly easy to come up with and sends a rather loud message without radiation.

Re:NIMBY (1)

Carnildo (712617) | about 9 months ago | (#46086587)

The media does a great job glossing over a fundamental problem with dirty bombs. You have to shield it well enough to get it to it's deployment before it kills you, but it then has to disperse it's contents widely to be even vaguely effective.

A dirty bomb isn't about killing people, it's about scaring people. A pipe bomb will blow out a few windows and maybe kill someone who was unlucky enough to be standing next to it when it went off. A pipe bomb mixed with the guts of a hundred smoke detectors won't be any more deadly, but the resulting radiation scare will keep a few city blocks evacuated for weeks or months.

Re:NIMBY (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46086981)

Assuming it doesn't get the terrorists caught first from the rediation signature, and it doesn't kill them before they can place the device, it will take a hell of a lot more than a pipe bomb to burst the Shielding and scatter the Americium. Of course, each smoke detector contains only a quarter microgram, so it's going to take a great many to even have a detectable effect.

IOt would have even less effect if not for the Chicken Littles in D.C.

Re:NIMBY (1)

John Da' Baddest (1686670) | about 9 months ago | (#46071241)

movie plot threats are not worth worrying about.

As opposed to, "movie theater threats" like Batmans and ex-cops. Who needs terrorists when USA is already well-supplied with local wackos?

Re:NIMBY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46090353)

Some of the terrorists are quite educated, one is in fact a Phd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayman_al-Zawahiri

So what you are saying is true for a large percentage of them, but all it
takes it one to make the bomb, and then a deliveryman.

However I believe Alqaeda to mostly be Al_CIAda, and actually used
as an excuse for the US to behave badly. Much like the UK soldiers
caught dressed like Shiites to incite a war between Sunni and Shiite
in Basra In Iraq.

http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=1556

http://www.globalresearch.ca/british-undercover-soldiers-caught-driving-booby-trapped-car/972

Once again dirty tricks is being used, much like it has been used many times before.

Operation Gladio, Operation Northwoods, MK Ultra, REX 84, Operation Garden Plot, etc etc...

FEAR! (4, Funny)

aesiamun (862627) | about 9 months ago | (#46066169)

Control the populous with fear! Let's figure out a way to make them even more afraid of nuclear power so we can continue selling snakeoil solutions like solar and wind energy products.

psychotic felons with nukes what could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066221)

crown royality the dark matters series coming soon

Re:FEAR! (1)

brambus (3457531) | about 9 months ago | (#46066265)

The saddest thing is that this will be sold to the public under the "NUCLEAR POWER BE DANGEROUS!" banner, completely ignoring the fact that this was a radiological source for nuclear medicine - opposing that is in essence saying that you want more people with cancer to die.

Re:FEAR! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066289)

more people with cancer to die.

God's Will be done! God bless America! God bless the Holy Obama!

Re:FEAR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46073011)

if you think life would be better under your preferred puppet I've a bridge to sell you, gimp.

Re:FEAR! (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#46066341)

Aside from the (rare, mostly found in spacecraft or from the golden age of 'soviets + radioisotopes = even crazier party than americans + radioisotopes') radiothermal generators, the sealed sources of the type being fretted about are pretty much entirely unrelated to nuclear power generation...

There is periodic fretting about security at nuclear generating facilities; but those are relatively scarce, relatively centralized, and, while they do deal in pretty large amounts of radioactive material compared to most other users, need stuff shipped hither and yon only infrequently.

The industrial, scientific, and medical emitters are comparatively puny; but there are lots and lots of them, scattered all over the place, and relatively frequently shipped around.

Essentially unrelated applications with only minimal overlap in risk.

Re:FEAR! (1)

IAN (30) | about 9 months ago | (#46066393)

Control the populous with fear! Let's figure out a way to make them even more afraid of nuclear power so we can continue selling snakeoil solutions like solar and wind energy products.

The "populous" (ObGrammarNazi: it's "populace" in this case), as represented by the thieves of those radiation sources, has already demonstrated how informed and afraid it is: not much. How you can equate medical/industrial isotope capsules with nuclear power generation is another question. (Hint: you really can't, but it's so difficult to pass an opportunity for trolling, right?)

Re:FEAR! (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 9 months ago | (#46066429)

How you can equate medical/industrial isotope capsules with nuclear power generation is another question. (Hint: you really can't, but it's so difficult to pass an opportunity for trolling, right?)

But the people who want to frighten the general public away from nuclear power just need to get "unsafe" and "nuclear" together in the same headline.

Your average layman isn't going to make the distinction between nuclear power plants and radioisotopes used in medicine when he sees that "unsafe" and "nuclear" together...

Re:FEAR! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066481)

Interesting, but I believe too specialized. Fear is sold to the public so that protection can be offered later. This is normal Hegelian dialectic which has been used here to make people fear pretty much everything. A few months ago a SC politician claimed that SC could be the target of a dirty nuke, Bush gave the same rhetoric about Iraq.

In other words, it's just "fear" being pushed and not "fear of nuclear power" or "fear of this thing" or "fear of those people". Just "fear" so that the growing police state can be used to keep the public safe.

Posting AC to spend wonderful mod points. s.petry

Re:FEAR! (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#46067587)

Actually "medical" and "nuclear" in the same headline seems to be much more frightening to me, add "Obamacare", and it becomes terrifying. Besides, uranium, radon, the daughters of radon must me completely safe for human consumption, "radioactive" can't be such a big deal or they wouldn't have well water naturally carbonated with it in Tahoe.

Re:FEAR! (0)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 months ago | (#46066535)

The sun as an energy source. Who would have believed such bunk! Yep, snake oil indeed!

Re:FEAR! (2)

aesiamun (862627) | about 9 months ago | (#46066705)

Inefficient, expensive products that are not going to be subsidized forever...It is not the future.

We cannot live off of solar alone. It is a good companion, but 100% solar is a dream. Nuclear is proven and newer technologies are safe. The energy consortium does not want people using nuclear because it makes them irrelevant with backyard nukes being actively researched and developed today. Let's sell the concept that it's dangerous...that's why we're seeing nuclear 'fallout' in California from Fukushima in the news.

Let's make everyone scared.

Re:FEAR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46067387)

The energy consortium does not want people using nuclear because it makes them irrelevant with backyard nukes being actively researched and developed today.

^ this is the point where you sound almost as stupid as the chicken littles squawking about the "fallout" in California from Fukushima

Re:FEAR! (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 9 months ago | (#46070073)

We cannot live off of solar alone. It is a good companion, but 100% solar is a dream

You're not very good at math, are you? For your reference just the amount of solar energy absorbed by the earth in an hour [wikipedia.org] dwarves the amount of energy used by the human race in an entire year by four whole orders of magnitude. We could *never* produce this much energy here on Earth ourselves with any concievable current or future nuclear technology advances. So, just to be clear, additionally (please forgive me for also assuming you're not very knowledgable about physics either) the Sun is in fact also, in fact, nuclear. You should honestly be on board with this unless you're a shill. Yes, the solar panel technology needs funding and resesarch, but it deserves it more and will gain more traction from it than what we've spent on nuclear fision, wind power, steam or traditional internal combustion by gasoline so far. It is merely a side-effect of these aformentioned industries having been so profitable thus far that solar currently looks like a cheap toy.

Re:FEAR! (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 9 months ago | (#46071495)

It is merely a side-effect of these aforementioned industries having been so profitable thus far that solar currently looks like a cheap toy.

YES!

corepirate nazi fearmongering could happen to US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066171)

just a terrifying notion even sends chills up our spleens?

New Headline (1)

rjhubs (929158) | about 9 months ago | (#46066217)

Crime! It could happen in the US.

The TSA is ON IT! (5, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#46066237)

Don't worry. The TSA has this all under control. They are now requiring the drivers of these transports to take their shoes off when they get into the cab. So, problem solved!

Re:The TSA is ON IT! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066843)

They will also ensure the drivers only carry 100 ml of fluids. The won't get far on 100 ml of gas.

all trucks are now banned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066239)

By executive order, all trucks and SUVs are hereby banned. All truck owners and SUV owners are required to surrender their vehicles to the United States for scrapping. Immediate compliance is mandatory.

sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066255)

another call for YET MORE pointless 'security.' soon the USA will be all security guards save for maybe a dozen citizens.

it is ALWAYS possible to provide more security / more armor plate / more locks. but economics is the science of making do with scarce resources--and here we must lest we suffer yet more death by a thousand paper cuts.

Re:sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066321)

another call for YET MORE pointless 'security.' soon the USA will be all security guards save for maybe a dozen citizens.

Better apply for your security guard job now! You wouldn't want to end up as one of the dozen losers.

Re:sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066471)

Lets see, an unmarked truck carrying stuff vs a truck being heavily guarded. Which is presumably carrying lots of valuable stuff? Wait til they park the truck and go for dinner...

Radioactive paranoia (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066333)

Sheese. The Threat of the Month club. Every hospital in the world has mildly radioactive material. Even bananas are slightly radioactive. Even worse, many homes contain highly explosive natural gas. Even more worser, we are all being poisoned by bread containing gluten. Get a grip.

Re:Radioactive paranoia (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 months ago | (#46066557)

There's nothing wrong with gluten, unless you happen to be allergic to it. Then your life becomes hell. But the gluten itself is not "evil".

Re:Radioactive paranoia (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 9 months ago | (#46070111)

Well, its also fattening to the point that eating the "3-2-4-4 way" puts many people at high risk for type-2 diabetes, so your mileage may vary on the "not evil" part.

Re:Radioactive paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46073063)

I hear the trick is not to eat a metric fuck-ton of it all day every day.

Re:Radioactive paranoia (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 9 months ago | (#46075503)

Yes, that IS quite a trick. Too bad its also the cheapest edible material on the planet and coincidentally highly addictive...

Re:Radioactive paranoia (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46066571)

The cited incident wasn't theft of "mildly radioactive material". It involved a Cobalt-60 shielded radiation source used for cancer therapy. Exposure to the unshielded source for hours or a few days could result in radiation sickness and death.

Re:Radioactive paranoia (1)

Ron Goodman (465764) | about 9 months ago | (#46066609)

Did the guys who stole the truck and opened the container ever turn up in a hospital?

Re:Radioactive paranoia (2)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46066771)

According to this [nytimes.com] , they were arrested and taken to a hospital with one individual showing signs of possible rad. poisoning.

Re:Radioactive paranoia (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 9 months ago | (#46067147)

And while not every hospital does cancer treatment, a lot of them do, certainly all the bigger ones unless they specialise in something else.

Huh (2)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#46066357)

With the billions poured into "security" I'm left with the assumption that this is done on purpose, how else do you explain such a glaring error:?

Re:Huh (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 9 months ago | (#46066791)

With the billions poured into "security"...

Security is for the little people. Corporations, small, medium, and large? Not so much.

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46066803)

Your comment makes no sense.

Re:Huh (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#46067191)

With the billions poured into "security"...

Security is for the little people. Corporations, small, medium, and large? Not so much.

Your comment makes no sense.

Oh, AC... you poor thing. I understand your confusion: Words don't make sense without context.

If you are a "little person" then you might think all this talk about "national security" is about protecting you and your interests, ensuring your safety. That's wrong. Only you are responsible for protecting yourself. Congress has ruled the police have no obligation to protect you, they are enforcers of the law against those who break it (if they're "little people").

If you are a corporation then "security" means ensuring existence of your socio-economic status, and influence over politics, despite the will of the people. [wikipedia.org] That's what "national security" is, except under that label they don't have to worry about pesky FOIA requests exposing such actions.

You don't have "national safety" you have "Security theater". It's not just harmless bureaucratic waste, it's actually preparation to keep you from organizing any activism enough to change anything. [theguardian.com] Just like the stuff they did under COINTELPRO; Thus, their ability to maintain the status quo is "secure". Any real threat to life is pretty much ignored unless it's not really a big deal and can be heavily monetized by the state -- See: War on Drugs. The important thing to note is that the electronic spying apparatus has been in operation for decades. [wikipedia.org] PRISM's spying was in place pre-9/11 [wikipedia.org] and yet failed to protect us; There's no evidence it's ever protected us, since that's not what it was meant to do. The powers that be have no real interest in your safety, just that you are "secured". They're actually hoping for another disaster. [youtube.com] Four hundred times more folks die every year from heart disease and accidents than a 9/11 scale attack, yet we still drive the kids to get a happy meal -- Compared to nearly any other risk, even falling down in the bath or lightning, the terrorist threat is pathetically small. [cdc.gov] The scaremongering threat narrative is only needed to push through more draconian legislation, like the PATRIOT Act, by manufacturing your consent. [youtube.com]

Now, once you've educated yourself, you too can lament the state of things. [youtube.com] Welcome to the discussion.

Re:Huh (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46070177)

Small, not so much. It's the large internationals that get a pass. Medium may get some slack mostly from local government.

Re:Huh (1)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46067451)

how else do you explain such a glaring error:?

Just another symptom of the 'MBA Disease', where people too stupid or lazy to do any real work make decisions on public safety based on how it will effect the stock price and their next quarterly bonus.

radioactive booty (0)

nyckidd (213326) | about 9 months ago | (#46066573)

From TFA: "but there was still a risk that one of Mexico’s powerful criminal organizations would get to the radioactive booty first " (emphasis mine)

Sure, it's a correct sentence, and I admit I have the maturity of a 6-year old at times, but why word it this way? Who wrote this thing? Oh, wait... "Copyright © 2014 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists".. nevermind. It's obvious what they have on their minds. <homer>mmmmmm, radioactive boooty (slobber)</homer>

Re:radioactive booty (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#46066871)

why shouldn't they use the word, for centuries "booty" has meant things taken by violence or robbery. It comes from the middle low german bute, meaning the sharing of spoils. The slang word for either buttocks or vagina originated with the blacks in the late 1920s, and largely stayed in black culture until very recently.

Re:radioactive booty (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 9 months ago | (#46082995)

It was also taken up in the 1970's by that middle-eastern guy Sheik Yerbouti [wikipedia.org] .

But, school dinners in NJ? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 9 months ago | (#46066965)

Now that is a real priority for government.

This is about money, and priorities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46067643)

And no one wants to foot the bill.

The lack of security around nuclear materials in the US has been well known for some time. One would think, given that it very much is a National Security concern, there would be copious funding for this. It isn't there! Either as a line item on Defense spending, or the National Security black budget. It isn't there! Want Corporations to pay for it? Good luck! There's no cost incentive in doing it, and they likely wouldn't get the contracts from the Government if they added into the cost of doing business. And if you suggested they take less of a profit to cover the cost, well you aren't very good at business are you!

BUT, we sure as hell can collect several hundred million citizens text messages every day, can't we?!?! Yes, I want there because both fall under the supposed concern of National Security!

Cryptoterrorrist Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46067891)

My medical favorite is still the same waiting room for pre-natal patients and those waiting for the radioactive tracer or marker doses to be absorbed. Side by side. External techs have to remember to turn off their rad counters before going in. Even "roentgen" counters get set off. The more absent-minded ones then have to act as if their beepers, or cellphones had just recieved a call. "Hilarious".

Re:Cryptoterrorrist Management (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 9 months ago | (#46083145)

I've witnessed that first hand on two occasions where colleagues had to undergo procedures using radioactive substances. One was a lymphoma scan of some sort and the other a gallbladder scan using 99mTc [wikipedia.org] . Both made my Geiger counter scream. The gallbladder guy was 2000x background for a few hours until it was 'eliminated' and/or decayed.

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