Moldova seizes £7 million worth of enriched uranium

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posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 02:12 PM
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OK so it's not highly enriched Uranium, i.e. the kind needed for a sustainable fission reaction, and therefore a bomb.

But it is nonetheless worrying that this sort of material is being pilfered and dispersed by ex government officials. The material is still radioactive although it is essentially just depleted Uranium known as yellow cake. It could potentially be used in a dirty bomb, and as you can imagine this is the spin being put on the story.

We've all heard the ghost stories about nuclear materials and weapons being obtained on the black market from the former Soviet states. Well it appears that there is some merit to these musings in light of recent findings.

www.telegraph.co.uk...

[edit on 24-8-2010 by Big Raging Loner]



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 02:19 PM
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Nice, if someone is shady to sale that to them im sure there are more like that around



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by camaro68ss
 


Absolutely, and probably a hundred more to take the place of those detained in this operation.

These guys may have just been out to make a quick buck by selling to a few uneducated psychopaths, who felt the material could be used for something more sinister.

I feel this is unlikely however, if someone is ready to hand over millions of Euros for something like this, they are going to know their craft.

[edit on 24-8-2010 by Big Raging Loner]



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 02:51 PM
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4 pounds of it is wotth 7million?

Man thats some expensive stuff.
Need a lot more than that for a nuke,and higher enriched too.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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Nice to see that in this world there is even a price for something like U-238.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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Enriched uranium should be U-235, or a portion thereof. When you enrich uranium, you are actually increasing U-235 through isotope seperation. Non-enriched uranium or natural uranium is almost pure U-238.

So, if it is in fact enriched uranium, it shouldn't be U-238, but a percentage of U-235. Because the article states that this is U-238, as opposed to a percentage of U-235, it is probably not that dangerous and not that big of a deal, seeing how it would have to be enriched. U-238 has more uses than enrichment for nuclear fission. U-238 is a non-fissil material.

With that out of the way, this is not too scary, seeing that it would have to be enriched, which is a very difficult task. Depending on the percentage to which it is enriched, it may not be too dangerous at all. Weapons grade uranium is at least enriched to 85% U-235, though realistically, more like 95-99%. Depending on the level of U-235, it could be used for something as simple as depleted uranium, used for both armor and armor-piercing munitions, among other things.



--airspoon







[edit on 24-8-2010 by airspoon]



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by airspoon
 


You're right it is thankfully no easy task to enrich Uranium, and whoever was buying would need some pretty expensive tech at their disposal.

However there are other options than going to U-235. For example using a fast breeder reactor you can obtain Plutonium 239 which is highly fissile.

By firing a neutron at U-238 you create the short lived U-239, which decays into Neptunium 239 by producing a Beta particle, Then after another Beta particle is produced you have your Plutonium. At this point you're only a stones throw from weapons grade material.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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It's enough to make a dirty bomb.

Glad they caught them, I hope they never succeed to make one.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by Silcone Synapse
4 pounds of it is wotth 7million?

Man thats some expensive stuff.
Need a lot more than that for a nuke,and higher enriched too.


Yeah, I thought it was expensive too. An online check gives Uranium 238 as $60 / lb spot price!?!

Kaybee



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by kaybee5000
 


Anyone can go out and mine uranium, given the proper tools that are commercially available. Uranium is found naturally all over the midwest and western US. It shouldn't be too expensive. However, it would be very costly to buy enriched uranium, depending on the level of enrichment, because it is costly to produce it. To take such an endevour is not only costly and time consuming, but also technically difficult. Boiled down, U-238 is not too expensive, while U-235 is and there is a good reason for the difference. U-235 is not found naturally on this planet.

--airspoon

[edit on 24-8-2010 by airspoon]



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 06:30 PM
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Just some toys trying to make a quick buck on the side tricking wannabee hoodlums. Wouldn't worry to much about this incident guys...

with 200+ nukes "missing" it's clear that a lot of players have leverage due to the possession or supposed retrieval of these lost devices.

It's funny to see built up MSM coverage on things that can happen under the disguise of "terrorism"





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