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Polonium-210 Available Through Mail Order

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the healthy-breakfast-shakes dept.

481

Knutsi writes "InformationWeek is reporting that Polonium 210, the radioactive material used to poison former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is not as hard to get your hands on as some have previously stated. American family business United Nuclear is actually selling the stuff, and other equally exotic materials, on their company website. Could come in handy for the xmas shopping season."

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481 comments

Looking for some uranium. Click here (1)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036706)

Now that guy with the wiggling eyebrows has to be one of the funniest banner ads ever.

Re:Looking for some uranium. Click here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17036772)

You are obviously from the mid-west.

Re:Looking for some uranium. Click here (-1)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036860)

You are obviously from the mid-west.
Alright, I'll bite. Why do you say that?

Re:Looking for some uranium. Click here (1, Funny)

Possibly Malignant (933521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037060)

Because only people from the midwest laugh at eyebrows...

Duh.

I would know. I'm from Cincinnati, OH. And I love eyebrows.

New level of cheating. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036716)



I wonder how XBOX LIVE will dectect this?

UberL337: hey thanx 4 sendin over teh drinks!
TehD00d: NP mang.
[...]
UberL337: ug feel sick oh fukkk call ambulsafeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
TehD00d: Polonipnwed!!!

A Lump of Polonium 210... (5, Funny)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036732)

When a lump of coal just won't do...

Re:A Lump of Polonium 210... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037438)

Someone should give this to Vladimir Putin and his FSS pals for Christmas. Just expressing my sentiment and not a true desire to see a wannabe dictator done in.

Re:A Lump of Polonium 210... (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037526)

Someone should give this to Vladimir Putin and his FSS pals for Christmas. Just expressing my sentiment and not a true desire to see a wannabe dictator done in.

Hey, I'm as anxious as you are to see Putin finally recognized for the evil, scheming sociopath that he is. (He has to be one, in order to come to power in a quasi-statist bramble of a society.) However...

...wouldn't this have been the perfect way for the FSS or whoever to engineer his downfall, in favor of a hardliner?

So let's practice what we preach, and wait for the evidence to come in. Then, let's second- and third-guess how that evidence might've been engineered to frame somebody for framing somebody. Remember, we are dealing with spooks here. Three levels of misdirection is child's play to them.

wow, and run by a loon too (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036756)

great to see the man who runs this place is certifiable

Re:wow, and run by a loon too (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17036868)


United Nuclear is run by Bob Lazar, who some 20 years ago claimed to have worked on alien spaceships on a secret military base in Nevada

Loon would be the polite phrase here on plant zogarth.

Feh (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036764)

The Polonium available on United Nuclear's site can be purchased without a license because the level of radioactivity, 0.1 microcurie, doesn't pose a danger, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.


Thanks slashdot, but if I wanted baseless scare mongering about the threat of nuclear material falling into the wrong hands, I'd join the Republican Party.

Re:Feh (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036888)

Thanks slashdot, but if I wanted baseless scare mongering about the threat of nuclear material falling into the wrong hands, I'd join the Republican Party.
Wow, didn't know Republicans were active in Britain.

Seriously though, you made an excellent point and I applaude you for it.

Re:Feh (4, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037114)

Nah, at Republican Party meetings, all they do is smoke big cigars and laugh over how easy it is to dupe the proles. Afterwards, they go out and throw rocks at hobos.

Re:Feh (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037484)

The true Republicans don't throw stones, they sell them... to Ralf Nader fanboys... who throw them at hobos while we watch.

Re:Feh (2, Funny)

jo7hs2 (884069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037188)

Thanks poster, but if I wanted to ignore the dangers of our world and bury my head in the sand like an ostrich, I'd join the Democratic Party. - or - Thanks poster, but if I wanted to run around screaming like Chicken Little that the sky was falling, while meanwhile smoking a joint, I'd join the Green Party. - or - Thanks poster, but if I wanted to pretend I wasn't a Democrat or Republican to avoid argument, I'd be a Libertarian. /Slashdot is an Equal Opportunity Insultor.

Re:Feh (0, Flamebait)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037204)

When George W. Bush acts militarily to stop dictators from getting WMD he's called a liar, when he acts diplomatically he's called a failure. No wonder the guy doesn't give a damn what the left thinks of him. God bless America and God bless our Commander in Chief.

Re:Feh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037604)

That's because he is a liar and a failure. If he had done either of those things competently there would be much less cause for complaint. (Although I concede there would not be much less actual complaint.)

a great Wired article on United Nuclear (5, Informative)

pepax (748182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037274)

MOD UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037522)

This isn't just a nice article about United Nuclear, but about the decline and fall of intellectual curiosity among kids growing up in the US, courtesy of the usual coalition of the War on Drugs and blubbering soccer moms. It's depressing as hell.

Re:Feh (0, Flamebait)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037416)

I'm confused as to when exactly the following people joined the Republican party (cut and paste job, but makes the appropriate point)

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
      - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
      - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
      - President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
      - President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
      - Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
      - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton.
      - (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
      - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
      - Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
      - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
      - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
      - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
      - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
      - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
      - Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
      - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
      - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

Re:Feh (1, Troll)

hahiss (696716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037596)

Apparently you're not quite familiar with how time operates. See, things can be true in 1998 but not in 2003. So, for example, Saddam might have had WMDs in 1998 and not in 2002. And then the quotes you've got here from the 1990's aren't really helpful---though they do make your post seem to have some gravitas because it is just so full of words.

Moreover, you're also not so clear on how context works. For example, people can say "Saddam Hussein shouldn't be allowed to further develop the weapons we gave him when the Reagan administration supported him" and still not mean that we should wage an immoral war on the thinnest of pretexts. Perhaps one might say that exact sentence and be arguing for sustained international diplomatic and police efforts.

But other than that, you're right; some Democrats supported this immoral war. They, like the Republicans they supported, are all war criminals; I'm happy to start a bipartisan effort to send them all to the Hague for trial.

Re:Feh (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037424)

No doubt. The United Nuclear company is great, and this isn't the first time that fearmongering affects their very small and valuable business. That, and clueless frat boys who order the largest magnets they can find, just because it's fun to buy objects which have warnings with phrases like "serious injury will occur if you just carry this magnet through a room without planning your route carefully." Science is already being dumbed down by the nanny state; it's the reason that Mr. Wizard didn't endorse a modern update to his old chemistry sets. Timmy doesn't want to see what happens when boring baking soda mixes with boring tap water, but the school gets in trouble for anything more exotic and meaningful.

No you got it backword. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037430)

The fear of all things nuclear is the Democrat or even better the Greens stance. "Why should we worry about terrorists explosives in their shoes when you can by deadly Po210 by mail order".

Get your fear mongering right.

Remember if you outlaw child pornography, only criminals will have child pornography.

Order yours here (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036786)

http://www.unitednuclear.com/isotopes.htm [unitednuclear.com]

"Only Legal Source" ..... not for long

Give up another freedom! (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036842)

Indeed...American Citizens cannot be trusted with nuclear materials...shit they can't even be trusted with a goddamn telephone it seems, judging by the evesdropping our government does.

Really getting disillusioned by the land that claims to be "Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave".

Re:Order yours here (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037100)

"Only Legal Source" ..... not for long

Whatever you do, don't take apart a smoke detector. Or a night scope. Or a glow in the dark keychain. Or a level gauge. Or an old pair of dentures. Or a wick from a gas camping lamp.

There are actually quite a few mail-order sites for nuclear materials. The stuff is expensive, but it is available. The only difference is that most sites request proof of licensing for such materials before they'll sell them to you. In that way they separate the valid research, medical, and industrial uses of radiological materials from the hobbyists who happen to have a lot of money.

Honestly, it's kind of odd that someone would have poisoned the guy with polonium. I mean, there are so many other types of poisons (most being much more effective) even in our own homes. Heck, mix some radiator fluid into his starbucks mocha and he'd never know the difference! The only thing I can figure is that they were hoping that he'd get cancer and no one would question why. *shrug* Pretty poor plan if you ask me.

Re:Order yours here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037548)

"Honestly, it's kind of odd that someone would have poisoned the guy with polonium. I mean, there are so many other types of poisons ..."

Ok, Name me one.

Name me one which doesn't cause any effects for several days after ingestion, so I have time to get out of the country and clear all my tracks. And after that, causes unusual symptoms so that doctors will be confused. And, after ingestion, though it causes no immediate symptoms, is 100% fatal no matter what medical support is provided. As well as being tasteless, odourless, colourless and only requiring a minute dose to kill. While not being a great danger to the administrator....

Seems to me you're pretty much stuck with a radioactive substance. And of all radioactive substances, an alpha-particle only emitter is the easiest to conceal from radiological detection.

Unless, of course, you know different?

not "easy" (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036824)


  You'd be surprised about shops like this. Feds will obviously track the payments and shipments of these things. Even medical devices which contain less damaging isotopes have strict tracking. Don't believe the friendly face isn't watching you.

He ingested it at a restaurant you say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17036840)

I wonder how that could have happened [unitednuclear.com]...

uranium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17036844)

I have bought a chunk of Uranium ore. It is used for checking that my radiation survey meter still works at least partially.

Moo (5, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036848)

Who cares about Uranium, when we can have supermagnets!

Read the page, see the bait:
Two of these magnets close together can create an almost unbelievable magnetic field that can be very dangerous. Of all the unique items we offer for sale, we consider these items the most dangerous of all. Our normal packing & shipping personnel refuse to package these magnets - our engineers have to do it. This is no joke and we cannot stress it strongly enough - that you must be extremely careful - and know what you're doing with these magnets.

They even say "beware" elswhere. It must be good.

Can you even resist?

Luckily therse things cost money, or noone would care about the Flying Spaghetti Monster anymore. The Flying Magnetatorus would rule supreme.

Re:Moo (4, Informative)

3770 (560838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037094)

I did buy magnets from there. They are freakin' awesome.

I accidentally held them too close to each other with nothing in between and they slammed together with such a force that they made sparks and got chipped. I couldn't for the life of me get the magnets apart again until I realized that I could set one on the edge of a table and put my weight on the other to slide them apart but it still hurt my hands to do that.

The strength will amaze you and I only bought the 1" cube magnets. I can't even begin to imagine the strength of the really big ones.

Re:Moo (5, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037140)

Among the most dangerous things you can give your small child are magnets - particularly the small pea-sized sort that are used in toys that are moved around on a platform by other magnets placed underneath.

If a child swallows more than one of these magnets, they can find each other through bowel tissue and clamp together, eventually killing the tissue that ends up between them due to lack of blood flow and possibly perforating the bowel.

The magnets they are talking about can break bones if you don't handle them correctly, and if you've ever handled smaller magnets before (who hasn't), you know that it can be tricky trying to arrange more than one magnet (even small ones) without allowing them to collide. You could probably also kill yourself with these magnets in freak circumstances.

I might be missing something..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036854)

.... But *WHY* is this stuff freely available? Shouldn't it be a controlled substance of some sort? It almost seems that there are drugs and booze that have tighter restrictions.

Re:I might be missing something..... (4, Insightful)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037102)

.... But *WHY* is this stuff freely available? Shouldn't it be a controlled substance of some sort?

Eh, why not? It's not like you need polonium 210 to kill someone. A big stick can be used for the same purpose, and rat-poison can also be bought over the counter. And unlike e.g. guns, polonium 210 has other uses than to kill people. Most of those reasons advance science.

Apart from that, why should everything you don't have a need for, need to become "a controlled substance"? I don't know about you, but I have no wish to live in a society where everything is regulated, over-regulated, and then regulated again. I'm for gun control, because guns are a big problem in todays society. I'm not convinced that polonium 210 is a big problem in todays society.

It almost seems that there are drugs and booze that have tighter restrictions.

Those things are addictive. Polonium 210 isn't.

Re:I might be missing something..... (3, Funny)

3770 (560838) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037266)

.... But *WHY* is this stuff freely available? Shouldn't it be a controlled substance of some sort?

Eh, why not? It's not like you need polonium 210 to kill someone. A big stick can be used for the same purpose, and rat-poison can also be bought over the counter. And unlike e.g. guns, polonium 210 has other uses than to kill people. Most of those reasons advance science.

Polonium 210 doesn't kill people. People do.

If you want my Polonium 210 you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

Re:I might be missing something..... (1, Interesting)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037278)

I'm for gun control, because guns are a big problem in todays society.

Which is why you should be against gun control. The problem is that not everyone has one.

Re:I might be missing something..... (2)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037408)

Uh, right. And we should just give nukes to every country in the world, because then we wouldn't need to worry about Iran and North Korea having them.

Re:I might be missing something..... (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037322)

I'm a chemist, and I do think that selling chemicals can be irresponsible. Sure, you can kill people with a stick, but (1) it's pretty easy to figure out how to kill (or not kill) someone with a stick whereas you can easily inadvertently kill with chemicals, and (2) acutely toxic chemicals can have significant environmental impacts -- suppose someone were to drain an acutely toxic chemical.

That said, a quick skim of their website doesn't reveal anything acutely toxic and dangerous in the quantities sold (to me).

Re:I might be missing something..... (4, Interesting)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037528)

And unlike e.g. guns, polonium 210 has other uses than to kill people.

Ugh. The vast majority of guns in the US have never, nor will they ever, be used for killing people. Seeing as how we have so few natural predators left, hunting is an absolutely vital element of the wildlife conservation effort in many countries. Hunting provides healthy, lean meat, untreated by growth hormones and antibiotics, it controls populations, reducing disease and famine, it provides funding for programs that preserve wildlife habitats....

Guns can be used for a lot more than shooting people.

Re:I might be missing something..... (5, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037134)

Because there is nothing special about radiation.

Too many people think of radiation as this magical, unstoppable death ray; I call this the OMG RADIATION!!1! attitude.

Fact is, there's a whole whackload of far more dangerous things you can get your hands on legally and easily, not least of which is any number of guns, which are also very dangerous when handled carelessly or by an unskilled/untrained operator.

Cigarettes and alcohol are pretty dangerous too, and I couldn't even begin to list the deadly poisons we can stroll into any store and buy completely legally. You can start with the pest control isle, then add the majority of the cleaning isle, and then maybe a lot of the automotive liquids (antifreeze in particular is a dangerous thing if you've got pets or children around), then tack on much of the agricultural isle. Note that I'm not listing products, I'm listing store sections, because that's how readily available these things are.

Honestly, the only reason to prefer radioactive substances to poison someone is because it plays right into the OMG RADIATION!!1! attitude, which even here on "enlightened" slashdot is in ample supply. It's just another deadly poison; no less, but no more.

(To break yourself of the OMG RADIATION!!1! attitude, I recommend the following: Learn about background radiation levels. (If you think that "normal radiation" levels are "zero", you are firmly in the grip of OMG RADIATION!!1!.) Learn how X-Rays work and how they compare to background. Learn about how smoke detectors work; odds are very good that you are within a few tens of meters of an OMG RADIOACTIVE! substance. This will either break you of panicking, or give you a heart attack; either way you'll be free of OMG RADIATION!!1!.)

Here's what you're missing... (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037324)


But *WHY* is this stuff freely available?

It isn't. It's only available in very tiny quantities.

Shouldn't it be a controlled substance of some sort?

It is. Maybe you should read the article, or at least think a bit more critically that perhaps both Slashdot and Information Week are just trying to sell eyeballs here and are willing to overlook the fact that the amount available in incredibly tiny.

It almost seems that there are drugs and booze that have tighter restrictions.

Funny, I don't recall being able to buy arbitrary quantities of Polonium down the street from my local drug dealer (liquor stores included).

I'm curious. Are you always so reactionary to news stories, assume the worst, and don't bother thinking critically, or only when the word "nuclear" or "radiation" is in the article?

Re:I might be missing something..... (1)

lohphat (521572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037594)

...because restricting substances makes them go away right?

Have you not been paying attention the the INCREASE in availability and potency of "illegal controlled substances" in the last 30 years of teh Wor ahn Drugz?

That amount isn't hazardous (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17036874)

The amount they sell, 0.1 microcuries, is... well, a tiny amount. Seriously, if you ordered 100 vials and gave the full 10 microcuries of it to someone, the radiation from it isn't going to come close to killing them.

On the other hand, I'm not sure of the biochemical effects of Polonium on the system. Often times these heavy elements have worse biological properties from their chemical interactions than from the radiation they emit. It might well be that it will be chemically toxic to you long before radiation becomes a worry.

Re:That amount isn't hazardous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037496)

It might well be that it will be chemically toxic to you long before radiation becomes a worry.

And so are most of the household cleaners I keep in the cabinet under my kitchen sink. It seems the people in power really like to make us scared of anything radioactive. I wonder if the radioactive isotope in my kitchen smoke detector is more or less dangerous than this Polonium-210 ? I think it is time we put dentists on terrorist watch lists. After all, they keep these machines that plot graphs of the insides of the human body on-site using *gasp* radioactive substances.

Why do people keep on believing these government officials that just want to keep us scared and compliant?

Distilled for you...because your time is valuable (1)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036876)

Sold online by one company for $69 (US). Valid industrial purposes exist. Company is fairly sketchy and the owner claimed 20 years ago that he once worked on alien spaceships on a secret military base in Nevada - presumably a US military base, but the article was not specific so I suppose that it could have also been an alien base.

Regardless, expect Uncle Sam to land on him like a ton of bricks fairly soon. I hope that his forcefield dome is active.

"Brace for impact!"

Re:Distilled for you...because your time is valuab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17036984)

Regardless, expect Uncle Sam to land on him like a ton of bricks fairly soon. I hope that his forcefield dome is active.
 
From the page "
United Nuclear has been featured on nationwide
CBS television news, "Coast to Coast" Radio
with host Art Bell, Wired Magazine, Maximum
Magazine, and many other publications & shows.
See the 'About Us' page for more on our company." and on the about page it claims "United Nuclear was formed in 1986 by Los Alamos scientist, Bob Lazar." I wouldn't say Uncle Sam is coming down too quickly.

Brighter Teeth, For a Price (0, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036884)

I can't take a toothpaste tube on a plane, but Osama can mailorder enough nuke poison to kill all of Chicago on Christmas morning, embedded in gift certificates.

Enough of this simcurity that pretends to secure us.

Re:Brighter Teeth, For a Price (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037028)

You need in excess of 1000 vials of it to kill *1* person (and that's ingested, not external exposure on a gift card!)....

So no, he can't mail order enough to kill all of Chicago by embedding them in gift certificates.

Re:Brighter Teeth, For a Price (-1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037326)

They're selling 0.1uCi for $69, which is 3x the 0.03uCi lethal dose.

So embed the Po dots in a candy, or a free beer, or something else attached to the giveaway.

Are we really discussing the operational details of poisoning 10-100% of Chicago? Or are we talking about the absurd simcurity measures that hurt only harmless Americans and our open society?

Re:Brighter Teeth, For a Price (1)

TheCabal (215908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037096)

How?

UN sells in .1uCi amount, and according to our beloved Wikipedia, the lethal dose for INGESTED is .03uCi (assuming that 3 people in Chicago mistake Osama's gift cards for deep dish pizza and he has a very very fine razor blade to cut the sample into three parts). More people would probably die from the aforementioned deep dish pizza.

The amount is extremely tiny (0)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036914)

This site will sell you Polonium 210, but only .1 microcuries of the stuff. The lethal dose is 106 microcuries, meaning you need to by more then a 1000 of this guys samples. Which would likely throw up a red flag somewhere :)

Re:The amount is extremely tiny (1)

NerdyJock (1001797) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037032)

damn, I was gonna order some of this stuff, and invite my upstairs neighbors over for coffee.

Polonium and Smoking (5, Interesting)

Venner (59051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17036952)

I found it a bit amusing when they stated that Polonium was hard to obtain. It is actually drawn from the soil into Tobacco plants and is one of the Really Bad Things implicated in smoking and cancer (along with
the also-radioactive Lead-210, which emits gamma rays and decays into Polonium eventually.)

Polonium-210 is an alpha emitter - something you really don't want to ingest.
I'd have to look up dose-equivalents, etc, but if I remember correctly, it was estimated a two-pack-a-day smoker gets the radioactive equivalent of something like 300 chest X-rays a year. And remember that these are heavy metals that stay in the body for a long time!

That's low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037154)

You are being conservative. According to this source [acsa2000.net], if you believe them, a one pack a day smoker gets between about 300 and 8000 chest xray doses a year.

Re:Polonium and Smoking (5, Informative)

selex (551564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037156)

Oh come on, why don't you people stomp my only joy in life some more. It causes cancer, it smells, it yellows your teeth, it stunts your growth, it makes you sterile, it slaughters small puppies with a chainsaw...and now its radioactive. Son of a bitch! I'm about to start smoking crack...seems less harmful.

Selex

Does the United Nuclear's webpage sell that too?

Re:Polonium and Smoking (1)

goarilla (908067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037452)

iirc a-radiation is the lesser of all evils
a-radiation are the cores of He atoms -- whats so bad with a proton+neutron?
b-radiation are high speed electrons
and g-radiation (gamma), the diablo of radiation are high energy electromagnetic waves
those are the worst

But then again it's been a while since i had to study the risks of
those 3 radiatons

Wow... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037006)

According to here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polonium [wikipedia.org]

"The maximum allowable body burden for ingested polonium is only 1,100 becquerels (0.03 microcurie), which is equivalent to a particle weighing only 6.8 × 10-12 gram. Weight for weight, polonium is approximately 2.5 × 1011 (250 billion) times as toxic as hydrogen cyanide. The maximum permissible concentration for airborne soluble polonium compounds is about 7,500 Bq/m3 (2 × 10-11 Ci/cm3). The biological halflife of polonium in humans is 30 to 50 days.[18]"

The toxic dose is 0.03 micro-curies

http://www.unitednuclear.com/isotopes.htm [unitednuclear.com]

Lists their polonium source as 0.1 micro-curie. Now Polonium is only REALLY toxic when inhaled, where alpha particles do the most damage.

I know they probably track source sales like mad, but yeah, that seems a bit too convenient. I don't know what the disks are made off. If they are, say, ceramic based, it's probably resistant to most methods of extraction. Anything else, well...

I don't know how much longer then that this will be a 'legal' alpha source.

Re:Wow... (4, Informative)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037084)

The toxic dose is 0.03 micro-curies

No it isn't. That's the standard set by OSHA which is several orders of magnitude below the toxic dose in order to prevent health effects in people working with the stuff.

-b.

Hype. (1)

RonaldReagan (112997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037022)

This will probably get vastly overhyped. The fact of the matter is, you can buy MANY various things to covertly poison someone to death right at your local grocery store, for much cheaper than $69.

While they might not be as "sexy" to kill someone with as polonium, they will work all the same.

PBnJ (0, Troll)

IM COOL...UR NOT...L (1033432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037030)

i dont no if i should smash pbNj into my buddies math book....he did it to me and i dont no how i should get him back....so i just askin u ppl....pbNj or Ham N cheese....IT UP TO U.... His name is CARSON "feelgood" FOLEY.... HELP ME OUT WITH THIS ONE!!!!!!!

Warning! This is illegal generic Polonium-210... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037048)

...and is sometimes produced under dubious standards in Central America or India.

It does not meet the stringent FDA requirements that approved CIA spy poisons must and is therefore illegal to posses without a prescription from your local block captain.

Two words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037098)

Bob Lazar. The UFO Area 51 guy. Google him. He's a fraud.

Ok, that was more than 2 words.

Antifreeze... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037164)

30 ml can be lethal to adults in some cases - usually more like 100 ml. And it tastes sweet, so it can be mixed into a drink or accidently drunk by a child or pet. Some variants are yellow or red rather than a sickly green. And (at least for dogs) the death produced is an unpleasant one - basically, it's metabolised into oxalate which then crystallises and slices the kidneys to death. The funny thing is that a safer alternative - propylene glycol - already exists but isn't common because it's about 2-3x as expensive.

-b.

Re:Antifreeze... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037340)

My VW takes propylene glycol antifreeze. And is quite common at anywhere there is a large number of EU cars.

Ripoff (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037168)

Don't buy this stuff... it's some kind of scam. I ordered a bunch, and I set it aside until I got around to needing it. About one year later when I wanted to use it, more than 80% of it had mysteriously disappeared into thin air! Talk about planned obsolescence... and this stuff ain't cheap. This is worse than inkjet cartridges.

Since then, I've found a place that will send me Polonium *209*. It costs more, but so far it doesn't seem have the self-destruct feature that the Polonium 210 shysters build into their product.

This is news? (1)

Iron Condor (964856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037170)

Huh -- we now have front page news that a certain commodity item can be bought on the internet. I'm sorry, but anybody whos ever even just googled "Po210" already knows this. Where is the "news" aspect of this? Are we going to see headline news now that tells us that books can be bought online at Amazon.com?

legal.htm disclaimers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037214)

I got a good laugh. I hope you do too.
-----------------
Legal Information, [unitednuclear.com]
Privacy Policy & Disclaimer

General

Information and products available on this web site are not intended for Children.
Some of the products offered can be very dangerous in the hands of
the inexperienced. If you intend on conducting experiments with pyrotechnic
chemicals, make sure you are familiar with the materials & chemistry involved
in your project, or are working under the supervision of an adult who is!

Legal Information

Everything we sell is legal to buy and own in the USA with out any licenses, etc.

Please note that assembling and even possessing EXPLODING DEVICES
such as M-80's, Cherry Bombs, Silver Salutes, etc. is illegal and considered
a very serious offense!
Just because it may be possible to make these devices with materials we sell
on our website, does not mean it is legal to do so.

The only exception is for those professionals who posses proper
Federal, State, and Local licenses to do so.

This site should NOT be construed as training material for the manufacture of fireworks or firing of fireworks displays. Although some information may be presented that is usable for the manufacture and use of fireworks, it is presented as general information only.

United Nuclear sells a variety of chemicals, metal powders and supplies commonly used in general chemistry, the manufacture of high power rocket motors and general pyrotechnics. Some of these materials can also be used to make exploding fireworks (such as M-80's, etc.) that can be very dangerous.
Exploding fireworks such as M-80's, Cherry Bombs, Silver Salutes, etc. are no longer considered fireworks. They are considered high explosives. Manufacturing or possessing these banned devices is a felony.

If you live in California for instance, just about everything related to pyrotechnics is illegal.
The California State Fire works Laws are on line, along with the Fire Marshall's Regulations.

Pyrotechnics and explosives are not safe - factories have been destroyed in the past, and they have access to the best materials and equipment, and take the most stringent safety precautions. Some people on the net have also been injured by accidents, and many of them had years of experience and took extremely comprehensive safety measures.

Some knowledge of chemistry and physics is essential - if you didn't do high-school chemistry, get yourself a chemistry textbook and read it. Make sure you understand the basic principles involved for any composition
you might be making. It is a good idea to check a formula out with someone who is experienced in chemistry, to make sure you haven't missed any safety aspect.

This is Important
Be very careful with any pyrotechnic formulas or instructions for building devices you find on the Internet. Unfortunately, a very large portion of the information found on various websites throughout the internet is completely wrong - and extremely dangerous. Make sure you trust the source of the information if you are experimenting with chemicals - especially chemicals & pyrotechnic mixtures.
Just because you might see the same formula listed on more than one website, does not make it correct. People have a bad habit of repeating and reposting bad & incorrect information as if it were true.
Remember, anyone can post anything on the Internet, right or wrong.

Anytime we post an chemical experiment or procedure to make something on our site, we test it as thoroughly as possible before posting it. Even with our safeguards, typos can occur and accidental errors do pop up when pages are updated or copied. Pay close attention to what you are doing. If you have any questions, ask someone who is experienced in chemistry.

There is no information on high explosives on this website,
  nor will we knowingly link to any site that provides that kind of information.

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We do not share any information we get from you with anyone... Period.

Disclaimer & Hold Harmless Agreement

The customer hereby acknowledges the following:

The chemicals and/or supplies purchased have hazardous properties that may endanger life and limb; and that he/she is legally entitled to receive these materials. In consideration for the sale of the above chemicals and/or supplies to the undersigned, the undersigned agrees as follows:

1. There is no warranty that the chemicals and/or supplies are merchantable or that they are fit for a
particular purpose.

2. In no event shall the seller, or seller's heirs and assigns, be liable for consequential damages, nor shall seller's liability on any claim for damages arising out of or connected with the sale, delivery, or use of the chemicals and/or supplies exceed the purchase price of the chemicals and/or supplies.

3. The buyer will not use the chemicals and/or supplies in violation of any local, state, or federal law.

4. The original customer, successors and assigns, agrees to hold the seller harmless from and will indemnify seller from damages caused by the use of the chemicals and/or supplies.

5. The customer agrees that the conditions above apply equally to all current, past, and future purchases.

This disclaimer applies to any damages or injury caused by any failure or performance, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, computer virus, act of God, communication line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, alteration of, or use of record, whether for breach of contract, negligence, or under any other cause of action.

You specifically acknowledge that United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, LLC. (UNSS), is not liable for your defamatory, offensive, infringing or illegal materials or conduct or that of third parties, and UNSS reserves the right to remove such materials from this Site without liability.

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Radioactive sources around the home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17037226)

I also came across this and thought it was pretty funny: http://www.pocketrad.com/PocketRad5.html [pocketrad.com] Unfortunately, I gather the device that they're selling can't detect alpha particles since it uses a geiger-muller rube, and Polonium, is an alpha-only emmitter, but it's still cool. I want one for Christmas!

Santa's Little Helper (2, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037282)

OK, Christmas cookies. Or maybe free beer, probably even more popular in Chicago (like anywhere else).

At $69:0.1uCi, for a lethal dose of 0.03uCi, that's $66M to poison every Chicagoan. Before the volume rate discount.

I can split hairs with you all day long. It still doesn't get my toothpaste on a plane.

Chemistry sets used to have radioactive materials (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037304)

I remember finding my dad's old 50's-era chemistry set at my grandma's when I was little, and seeing a little button cylinder with a viewport on the top, so you could see the lump of uranium or whatever glow. Unfortunately, no matter how close I stuck it up to my eyeballs, I didn't see any glow. When I told my dad, he promptly confiscated the cylinder. Interestingly, he left me the dangerous chemicals, organic solvents, etc.

hilarious Independent editorial by Mark Steel (3, Informative)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037318)

here [independent.co.uk] but pasted in full, in case it "disappears":

Polonium 210 was cancelled due to signal failure

If this was carried out by a state department, Putin will announce it's to be privatised

Published: 29 November 2006

They must be bemused in Chechnya. Because they had about 50,000 people blown up by Putin and no one gave a toss. They probably made countless attempts to interest politicians and reporters from the West, who said: "Hmm, you've had your hospital destroyed by a tank, have you? Well it's a bit 1940s I'm afraid. Have they killed any of you with rocket-propelled bird flu or a remote-controlled piranha - something a bit sexy?"

While Putin's army was destroying Chechnya, Tony Blair welcomed him to Britain, and described him as a "great moderniser". And that certainly applies to whoever killed Mr Litvinenko. Because there can hardly be a more modern way of murdering someone than with radioactive sushi. In many ways the two men are so similar that when Putin makes a statement on the incident, he might say: "This is not a betrayal of KGB values. It represents traditional assassination in a modern setting."

And if this was carried out by a state-run department, Putin will announce it's to be privatised so it can bid for outside contracts. By now they've probably already made a showreel to publicise their work called "Ready Steady Poison", in which a Russian version of Ainsley Harriott chortles: "Now you only need to add a pinch of this stuff. Too much is a waste. Not only that but it's a bit heavy on the palate, and just because you're killing someone, you don't want to drown out the subtle flavours of the salmon."

Most commentators have suggested the killing couldn't be linked to the hierarchy of the Russian government because it's too clumsy and risky. But this is to underestimate government agents. The CIA's attempts to assassinate Castro included placing a bomb inside an attractive sea-shell, in an area of the beach that he strolled on, in the hope it would catch his eye and he'd pick it up. So by comparison this effort was dry and straightforward. Maybe the world's older secret service agents meet up in gloomy pubs to drink bitter and complain: "Youngsters today have it easy. In the old days, if you wanted to murder someone with sea-food you were up all night making an exploding whelk."

But this case represents more than one murder, because it's forced much of the British establishment to acknowledge that Russia has gone wrong. This leaves them in some turmoil, because when the Soviet Union collapsed this wasn't just seen as the demise of a tyranny, but the ultimate triumph for capitalism. Big business had won so freedom and prosperity would surely follow. Businessmen scrambled for their piece of this private wealth, and this was celebrated as an example of the new liberty. George Soros, the West's most quoted financier of the time, wrote: "It's robber capitalism, it's lawless, but it's very vital and viable."

One flaw in this logic was that most of the newly rich Russian businessmen had previously held senior posts in the Communist Party, which is how they got access to this new treasure. Which means the attitude of the country's new owners was: "Under the old system I believed it was my right to be pampered in luxury, while most people were poor under communism. But now I realise it's actually my right to be pampered in luxury, while most people are poor under capitalism. Truly we should be grateful for this historic change."

If you pointed this out at the time, you were scowled at like someone who suggests the week before a World Cup that England aren't going to win. Now, 15 years later the place is in chaos, to the extent that life expectancy for men has fallen from 65 to 59. Which must be another sign of the new freedom, because in the old days people were forced to endure six extra years of turgid communism, but in the free society you've no need to fear you'll be queuing for bread at 60.

But this is only a more dramatic version of what's taken place in the West. Over here we hear the same logic, that the only way of building a hospital or maintaining a transport system is to ensure someone will make vast profits from them. For example Network Rail have announced profits of £747m, and awarded their chief executive £1m for running the worst rail service in Europe.

And it's the same with everything; the Dome, Wembley, or the Olympics where we've somehow managed to get 18 months behind although it's only 16 months since we were awarded the thing.

If only the contract on poor Alexander Litvinenko had gone to a consortium involving Multiplex and Network Rail. He'd still be alive and well in Mayfair, while a spokesman would be summonsed to the Kremlin to say: "I'm afraid the fish was four years late, the polonium 210 was cancelled due to signal failure and I know we said we'd do it for 50 quid but it's now going to cost £350bn."

i hope there is some caution (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037420)

i hope the seller is sensible enough to cease sales during the current time of popularity. there must be lots of people out there wanting to pin things on the KGB.

..or from your friendly neighborhood photo supply, (1)

RealGene (1025017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037488)

..where Polonium 210 is used as the ionizer in "StaticMaster" brushes, used to clean dust off of negatives.

VERY small amount (1)

Cauchy (61097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17037510)

I read another article on this company the other day, and it said the amount they sell you is so small that it isn't visible to the naked eye. Um... Anyone wanna buy some? I'll sell you a vial of the same size for 75% of the price charged by United Nuclear.
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