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French plutonium at 'extreme risk' of terrorist attack

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posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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Plutonium being transported across France could be attacked by terrorists and turned into dirty bombs in a matter of minutes, a US nuclear security expert is warning.

Cargoes of plutonium oxide are taken by road at least once a month from nuclear plants at La Hague in the north to Marcoule in the south to make fuel for French reactors. But according to Ronald Timm, a consultant from Lemont, Illinois, US, and for 5 years a senior nuclear security advisor to the US Clinton administration, the shipments are very poorly guarded.

"The protection afforded these everyday shipments is virtually non-existent," he claims. In a study commissioned by the anti-nuclear group, Greenpeace, he concludes that they are at "extreme risk" of terrorist attack.

Each shipment has less than a dozen guards and they could all be killed in a surprise attack by as few as three armed terrorists, he argues. Then it would only take "seconds" to break open the transport casks with power tools or explosives, he claims, and to start releasing plutonium into the environment.

Another possibility is that the plutonium could be stolen with the intention of making it into nuclear bombs. The risk to the health and safety of the public in France is "of grave concern", Timm says.

"Prime target"
His study also assesses a controversial cargo of 140 kilograms of plutonium oxide, sent to France from the US in 2004, as being at "high risk" of terrorist attack. The plutonium has now been made into fuel and is due to be transported back to the US in the next few weeks.

The plutonium casks transported from the US were a "prime sabotage target" but were only designed to withstand accidents and not "malevolent attacks", Timm alleges. However, this is rejected by the French nuclear company, Cogema, as "absolutely wrong".

The casks are approved as safe by scientists from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, says Cogema's head of transport, Henry-Jacques Neau. "They are able to withstand deliberate attack, and are extremely safe," he told New Scientist.
"

www.newscientist.com...

How can anyone trust the French to do anything? The french would just give up wouldn't they. This is a big problem...................




posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 10:16 AM
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So I take it you think the MOD are unrealiable as well?
Since you care so much about nuclear materials being poorly guarded then you surely will complain about the MOD's poorly guarded house of commons and the poorly guarded nuclear, chemical and biological materials which british companies and the MOD guard?



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
So I take it you think the MOD are unrealiable as well?
Since you care so much about nuclear materials being poorly guarded then you surely will complain about the MOD's poorly guarded house of commons and the poorly guarded nuclear, chemical and biological materials which british companies and the MOD guard?


If thats the case then I will.

And I will complain if the US has this problem as well.

Our nations can not be so careless with such material - the potential problems that could arise from it are too dangerous.



posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 02:43 PM
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This has allways been the issue of processing nuke waste to make more nuke fuel. The US long ago decided not too. This mean less power, more waste, and worse, waste that lasts much longer. The French decision has benefits and drawbacks. Regardless, if they can't guard plutonium in the first place, then its a problem. But they can guard it at the nuke facilities, and the US too will have to figure out how to guard nuke material when it starts moving waste from all across the country to Yucca.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 05:46 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
This has allways been the issue of processing nuke waste to make more nuke fuel. The US long ago decided not too. This mean less power, more waste, and worse, waste that lasts much longer. The French decision has benefits and drawbacks. Regardless, if they can't guard plutonium in the first place, then its a problem. But they can guard it at the nuke facilities, and the US too will have to figure out how to guard nuke material when it starts moving waste from all across the country to Yucca.


Actually it was Jimmy the "Christian" Carter who stopped processing nuke waste. It is insane liberal leftist enviro-nuts that keep it off the agenda. It there is an incident I would place the blame on the Enviro-nuts first. Then the black robed bunch for giving the enviro's a listen.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 05:52 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid

Actually it was Jimmy the "Christian" Carter who stopped processing nuke waste. It is insane liberal leftist enviro-nuts that keep it off the agenda. It there is an incident I would place the blame on the Enviro-nuts first. Then the black robed bunch for giving the enviro's a listen.



Yeah - you wouldn't want to blame the people who actually steal the stuff and use it as a weapon.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 06:00 AM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
If thats the case then I will.

And I will complain if the US has this problem as well.

Our nations can not be so careless with such material - the potential problems that could arise from it are too dangerous.

Its far worse than reported, the protestors in faslane (our nuke sub base in scotland) actually get onboard the subs and take pictures of the subs. They get caught on the way out, and the crew.
Nukes are too dangerous....did you know the SAS/SBS done a pretend assualt of a reactor, cant remember the name its written down at home, and no one knew they were there until the team phoned reception and told them.




[edit on 26/02/2005 by devilwasp]



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 06:09 AM
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Originally posted by quango

Originally posted by DrHoracid

Actually it was Jimmy the "Christian" Carter who stopped processing nuke waste. It is insane liberal leftist enviro-nuts that keep it off the agenda. It there is an incident I would place the blame on the Enviro-nuts first. Then the black robed bunch for giving the enviro's a listen.



Yeah - you wouldn't want to blame the people who actually steal the stuff and use it as a weapon.


Here is the point.,.if the "rods" were reprocessed here at home they would be under better control.........we would also be less dependant on OPEC for OIL.

Of all the ways to create electrical power NUKE is the enviromentally safest way. Also a by product of the process is excess hydrogen......something that could be sold for auto's very cheaply...............hence NO need for OIL other than plastics.........



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
Here is the point.,.if the "rods" were reprocessed here at home they would be under better control.........we would also be less dependant on OPEC for OIL.

Of all the ways to create electrical power NUKE is the enviromentally safest way. Also a by product of the process is excess hydrogen......something that could be sold for auto's very cheaply...............hence NO need for OIL other than plastics.........

No they wouldnt, its the same across the world.
Its safe, but after the rods are used you have a BIG problem of waste.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by devilwasp

Originally posted by DrHoracid
Here is the point.,.if the "rods" were reprocessed here at home they would be under better control.........we would also be less dependant on OPEC for OIL.

Of all the ways to create electrical power NUKE is the enviromentally safest way. Also a by product of the process is excess hydrogen......something that could be sold for auto's very cheaply...............hence NO need for OIL other than plastics.........

No they wouldnt, its the same across the world.
Its safe, but after the rods are used you have a BIG problem of waste.


Actually reproccessing the rod is the answer to "waste".



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 06:29 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
Actually reproccessing the rod is the answer to "waste".

Thats one way.....There was a down side to that though I believe...cant remember it!



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 06:53 AM
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Since you "care" so much about our enviroment and nuclear dangers, I wonder if you ever read what israeli's are doing in their Dimona nuclear reactor? I think nobody really knows that, especially no nuclear inspections.
But hey, it's easy to blame somebody, like the French, that usually get blamed for everytime you hear the word terrorist.
I'm sure that the french have nothing better to do, than to "help terrorists get their nuclear bomb". I'm sure they just can't wait for them to use that bomb on the civlized world, and start a nuclear disaster.

Those DAMN FRENCH!



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by Souljah
Since you "care" so much about our enviroment and nuclear dangers, I wonder if you ever read what israeli's are doing in their Dimona nuclear reactor? I think nobody really knows that, especially no nuclear inspections.
But hey, it's easy to blame somebody, like the French, that usually get blamed for everytime you hear the word terrorist.
I'm sure that the french have nothing better to do, than to "help terrorists get their nuclear bomb". I'm sure they just can't wait for them to use that bomb on the civlized world, and start a nuclear disaster.

Those DAMN FRENCH!


Finally you see things my way...............


[edit on 16-3-2005 by DrHoracid]



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
Of all the ways to create electrical power NUKE is the enviromentally safest way. Also a by product of the process is excess hydrogen......something that could be sold for auto's very cheaply...............hence NO need for OIL other than plastics.........


What??

Could you please explain how nuclear fission, or fusion, can produce hydrogen as a byproduct.

I know of several ways of taking the heat generated from those reactions and using it to crack water to produce hydrogen. I am unaware of any nuclear reaction that produces hydrogen as a result of the reaction.



posted on Mar, 16 2005 @ 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by COOL HAND

Originally posted by DrHoracid
Of all the ways to create electrical power NUKE is the enviromentally safest way. Also a by product of the process is excess hydrogen......something that could be sold for auto's very cheaply...............hence NO need for OIL other than plastics.........


What??

Could you please explain how nuclear fission, or fusion, can produce hydrogen as a byproduct.

I know of several ways of taking the heat generated from those reactions and using it to crack water to produce hydrogen. I am unaware of any nuclear reaction that produces hydrogen as a result of the reaction.


Hydrogen build up in the reactor is a common problem with the westinghouse design. It is a heat/radiation breakdown of the cooling water. Normally it is seen as a "hazard"...........




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