Archive for November 2007

Nuclear Terrorism News

November 30, 2007

I’m still debating (with myself) on content for this blog. The issue this week is whether to blog about news items. I think news about nuclear weapons is relevant as it relates to the probability of an attack. But if I mention an incident and link to it, chances are, unless you’re a news junkie, the source article is information overkill. Generally, the headline tells us 95 percent of what we need to know, i.e., the situation is getting worse. But this is the web so I have to include the link. If a link is worth checking out, I’ll say so and tell you why.

I’m getting most of my nuclear news from a free email service I signed up for on the homepage of National Terror Alert at nationalterroralert.com. If you’re looking for breaking homeland security news, I recommend their email alerts, which come about once a week. I’ll poke around the rest of their website later and let you know what I find as there seems to be some decent stuff, like a survival guide for different types of attacks and a survival gear store. I’ve placed their link in the blogroll.

Going forward, if their weekly email has news related to nuclear terrorism, I’ll post the headline, which will link to the article in the National Terror Alert website. Usually at the bottom of their one-page article is a link to their source article. Some good (read: bad) stuff this week:

Canadian Defence Minister – Dirty Bomb or Nuclear Device Greatest Threat To North America

Police Seize Suspected Enriched Uranium – 3 Arrested In Plot To Sell It In Slovakia

UK – Top Officer Warns Of Nuclear Terror Threat

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Nuclear Weapons in the Wrong Hands

November 8, 2007

Two separate pieces of news:

With the current upheaval in Pakistan, the fate of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is in the news (msnbc.msn.com). The fear is that forces sympathetic to al Qaeda could accomplish a “nuclear coup.” Pakistan is believed to have 30 to 45 nuclear weapons.

A dirty bomb, aka radiological dispersal device (RDD), could be used in homegrown, domestic terrorism. In Urbandale, Iowa, a man is being investigated (kcci.com).

Nuclear survival information at ki4u.com

November 6, 2007

When you google for “survive nuclear attack,” the first hit is ki4u.com. Run by civil defense expert Shane Connor, it has very good information and I’ve placed the link in the blogroll. Here’s a six-minute CNN interview of Shane Conner (now on youtube) talking about the likely 99% survival rate of a 10-kiloton bomb (about two-thirds the size of Hiroshima). He smartly says that surviving the blast is not the problem; it’s surviving the next two weeks.

The “ki” part of the ki4u.com web address stands for potassium iodine. It comes from “KI,” which is the chemical symbol for potassium iodine, the substance used to iodize table salt. KI pills, which ki4u.com sells, are a common item in a nuke survival kit—they’re taken to saturate your thyroid gland with good iodine, thus preventing the absorption of radioactive iodine—and the homepage of ki4u.com is mostly about taking KI.

There are several other pages at ki4u.com that I find more interesting:

There’s a guide to “what to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent.” On one long web page, which is packed with about five pages of information, it has topics including the decision to evacuate (stay or go), things to do immediately after the blast, making shelters and contamination.

There’s a “nuclear blast & fallout shelters FAQ” in three parts. I was overwhelmed, both technically and imaginatively, with the amount of information on these three pages:

Nuclear Blast & Fallout Shelters Part I is about the affects, and survivability, of the actual blast.

Nuclear Blast & Fallout Shelters Part II is about radiation and the affects, and survivability, of nuclear fallout.

Nuclear Blast & Fallout Shelters Part III is about taking shelter from nuclear fallout.

There’s the classic book, Nuclear War Survival Skills, which is free online, courtesy of ki4u.com. It’s written by Cresson H. Kearny of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Originally published in 1979, it’s a Cold War era book on how laypeople can improve their chances of surviving a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. While the geopolitics are outdated, a lot of the survival information is still relevant. There are a dozen glowing (pun unintended, I hate puns), five-star reader-reviews of this book for the two printed editions at amazon.com, the Nuclear War Survival Skills 1982 updated edition and the Nuclear War Survival Skills 1987 updated and expanded edition (they’re both out of print). At this moment, the best price for the 1991 edition is at ki4u.com.

Speaking of stuff for sale, in addition to the KI pills and the book above, ki4u.com sells a variety of radiation monitoring devices and nuclear survival manuals and DVDs. Here’s the ki4u.com order from and product page.

ki4u.com is a worthy site. In future posts I’ll dive further into the site and pull some pearls of surviveanukeattack-wisdom.

In general, most of the information I’ve seen on the web for surviving a nuclear bomb is technical and tedious (not to mention depressing). I’ll be sifting through this stuff and, in future posts, I’ll repackage the most important material and pump some life into it.

Nuclear Iran: Misconstrued and defending myself

November 1, 2007

My post from 10/25/07, “How much is that nuclear bomb in the window?”, was quoted in another blog, righttruth (about seven paragraphs into the righttruth post). That blog used my words, I think, as an argument for a hawkish resolution to the Iranian nuclear problem. It’s hard to tell; the writing is unclear to me. Plus, I was misrepresented because it gave the impression, by the way it was laid out, that I said something that Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher said.

If anything, my 10/25 post was attempting to show that the immediate nuclear danger is NOT from Iran. My post gave evidence of the existence of a nuclear weapons black market and of the existence of unsecured stockpiles of nuclear material around the world.

If a nuke explodes on U.S. soil in the next five years, I bet the uranium would NOT have been enriched in Iran.