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The Truth About Dirty Bombs

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posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 04:12 AM
I am including this post in the Deconstructing Disinformation thread mainly because it is my intention to inform the public regarding some of the misconceptions presented in the media, as well as by members of the US government itself. I would think that the vast majority of individuals, assuming they know little to nothing about nuclear devices, believe that a "dirty bomb" attack on a city would unleash horrible destruction, comparable to a regular nuclear device.

It is first important to clarify that a dirty bomb is not the same thing as a nuclear bomb. A nuclear bomb contains fissile materials, which when set off by more conventional explosives, starts a chain reaction of atoms within the fissile material itself, creating a huge explosion, pressure wave, and radioactive fallout. The radioactive fallout produced is due mainly to the inefficient nature of the chain reaction. When not all of the radioactive material is consumed in the explosion, radioactive fallout results. A device that consumed all of this material, a so-called "clean" bomb, has yet to be realized by any country.

To get an idea of what I am talking about, consider the only two nuclear devices dropped by one country on another...Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. These two bombs were about 1.5% and 14% efficient respectively, and the greater efficiency of the latter was mainly due to the use of a more suitable radioactive material as compared with the first.

So let's define a "dirty" bomb. A dirty bomb is NOT the opposite of a clean bomb, in that it produces much fallout. A regular nuclear device that a country has today is going to be "dirty" in that sense, but usually the term dirty is restricted to another type of device...A non-nuclear device that still contains radioactive materials. Having described how a nuclear device produces a chain reaction, it should be noted that a dirty bomb, while containing similar radioactive materials, does NOT produce a chain reaction of any kind.

A dirty bomb is simply radioactive material that is surrounded by conventional explosives, explosives which cannot and will not trigger a chain reaction of any kind. So what is the point of the radioactive material in the first place? The reasoning behind such a device is that it will spread radiation over the area, basically being used as an "area denial weapon."

Now to the point of this thread. Certain individuals within the government would want people to believe that such an attack would be catastrophic. My guess is that there are people within the government who wish to not only keep the public ignorant, but to keep the public afraid. I hypothesize that the purpose of this fearmongering is to allow the government less restrictions on their actions. Just like how after 9/11 the government invaded Iraq and then Afghanistan. Keeping the public in a state of fear does not allow them to really think about what they should be thinking about, which is whether the US government is honoring the US Constitution, among other things.

But what I would like to point out is that in the vast majority of dirty bomb scenarios, even if detonated in a major city, would cause minimal damage. In all likelihood the number of individuals killed would equal the number of people within the vicinity of the blast, or the "kill zone" of the explosive device. So what about all that radioactive material? It is not likely to cause death, or even severe radiation poisoning, in most cases anyway.

Unbeknownst to the majority of people there are thousands and thousands of radioactive capsules all over the world that could easily be gotten by a terrorist group. These devices are not controlled by the military, but are either in the public sector, are lying around somewhere waiting to be found, or are privately owned. Where do they come from? Well these types of radioactive capsules are simply radioactive materials enclosed in some type of casing, and are used in various machines such as those found in hospitals, are found in university labs, etc. In fact, the US government estimated that at least 300 such devices, or at least the radioactive portions, go missing each year. In some overseas countries the numbers are much higher.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were probably thousands of radioactive pieces that went missing. In fact, there have been times were such a device has been found just lying inside an abandoned building, or on the ground, in Russia. So obtaining such a device would not be as difficult as some think. But out of all these devices, maybe only 25% of them or so would be sufficient enough for use in a dirty bomb. But that is still a lot of radioactive material. And these are all different kinds of radioactive elements we are talking about, of which most are reactor-produced isotopes. Out of all of these different materials, here is a list of those sufficient for a dirty bomb: Americium-241, Strontium-90, Cobalt-60, Iridium-192, Californium-252, Caesium-137, Plutonium-238, Polonium-210, and Radium-226. I had to look those up, so I cannot be certain if these are all that can be used in such a device, so I decided to just go with what Wikipedia listed. But that is not very important for this discussion.

There is one major problem, which has been seen in the individuals who found such devices, not knowing what they were, and that is radiation poisoning in the person who is handling the materials. Attempting to build a dirty bomb with such materials will usually cause severe radiation sickness in whomever is doing the work. This would eliminate the building of such bombs in many situations, however, we know for a fact that certain terrorist groups are not concerned when it comes to giving up their lives in killing others. But it could also be argued that killing oneself while killing many others is different from killing oneself while building a device that will kill many others. But let's assume there are people out there who would be willing to do it. And let's assume that they knew what they were doing. That is a big assumption, but it is a possibility.

I should note that this material could be shielded while building the bomb, but attempting to transport the device in secret would be difficult, and the shielding would cause the bomb's yield to be drastically reduced. So let's get to the worst case scenario...All of these problems are worked out by some terrorists, and they actually get a bomb positioned in a major city. What can be expected? As I said, it will not be as bad as many would imagine. At most, such a device would have effects similar to what was seen at Chernobyl. That's bad, you're thinking, but like I said, this is worst case scenario. Much more likely the effects would be much, much less. In fact, the truth is that the city would not have to even be evacuated. The exposure to radiation may cause some short term sickness, but it is not likely to even kill anyone. The explosion itself will of course kill or injure anyone in the immediate area, but to the extent of a regular bomb. A terrorist could do that any day I would think.

The entire reason I wanted to say this is that I don't want the government attempting to scare people, causing these individuals to give up their rights under the guise of "protection." Instead of being worried about terrorists and dirty bombs, people should be worrying about their own governments, because that is where the greatest threat is coming from at present.

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 05:11 AM
Readers may also like to read the work of Bruce Cathie, a fomer New Zealand pilot who started his journey after observing strange arials in airports he flew into and out of.

To make a long story short, after he discovered points in the globe through which UFOs enter, he calculated the timing of the French Necular testing at Muraroa Athol to within 90 seconds the first and about 10 seconds the second time by adjusting this calculations to a 20 hour day I think it was from memory. (its a long time ago I read his book on this.)

Cathie also stated that dirty bombs like the article above describes are just not possible. He also stated that the idea that nucelar bombs can be detonated at any ole time is rubbish and that they can only be detonated under certian conditions. His evidencefor syaing this lies in how he came to do these calcuations.

edit on 13-8-2013 by learnatic because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-8-2013 by learnatic because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 05:22 AM
reply to post by JiggyPotamus

I see a major fail in your logic. You are thinking in the application of a dirty bomb in the same location that one would use a normal explosive device, this of course is what idiots would do. The explosion of the dirty device would only be intended to spread the contaminant the best way would be to study wind patterns and aim for the particles to be easily carried by wind or water or even be gaseous in nature (there are radiative gases) then the best place would be in an high rise or dropping from an altitude, this would need a study about dispersion and the particulate as well as the weather.

It is not by chance that the US did "live" tests of this type of stuff, since the moronic polices of the its governance puts the nation in the bullseye for this type of stuff, even more when it actively suppresses or obviously has superiority in conventional conflict... It is a tough life to be (and attempt to keep being) number one in any situation (even if it is all becoming clear that is now all mirror and "inside trading")...

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 05:39 AM
Good post and the only thing I would add is the debris thrown up during the blast (depending on the surface and or upper level winds) would affect dispersion of any radioactive material over a given area. I tend to be one of those who thinks I am more likely to die from lightning than a real terrorist attack...If it is a false flag then all bets are off.....they wouldn't do that unless another big misdirection is needed ...... I hope....

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 06:02 AM
I think Americium-241 is contained within most Smoke Detectors these days. So theoretically a potential terrorist could just buy a load of detectors and harvest said Americium-241, then use the radioactive material to construct there dirty bomb.

Its not like you are required to present any additional credentials when purchasing Smoke Detectors.

Scary thought, eh?
edit on 13-8-2013 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 09:14 AM
Or like the venerable USA, one could shoot depleted uranium bullets and shells all over a country and thus contaminate it better than any dirty bomb could....witness the plethora of birth defects coming from Iraq now....
Discovering the whole atomic structure and using the knowledge to make ANYTHING< from bombs to reactors is just humanitys way of suicide.

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by JiggyPotamus

Great write up. Been thinking of doing something like this myself.

Hopefully people read it and understand what it is and the idea of Asymmetrical warfare and its use.

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 09:56 AM
One thing that nobody mentioned is that these particles tend to be very heavy and wouldn't reach high enough in to the atmosphere to be carried any great distance. The main issue would be the contamination of the immediate area around where the bomb was detonated.

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 08:05 PM
I see some of the posts discussing the dispersal of radioactive materials. Part of the point I wanted to make was the AMOUNT of radioactive materials dispersed would not be sufficient to cause damage to the point of killing many, if any, people. Even if radioactive materials were carried by the wind, the cleanup process wherever they came to rest would be minimal, and evacuations would not even be necessary.

At the poster who claimed my logic was faulty because I am thinking of the spread of radioactive materials at the blast site, at least that is what I assume you are saying, I would have to disagree with. The most radioactive material is going to be found at the blast site itself. Therefore any spread after the explosion is going to be less than that experienced in the blast zone, or the immediate vicinity.

And regarding how a bomb like this would be set off, I am just reiterating conventional wisdom on the topic. Really this is the way it would be done by a terrorist. Now to the poster who mentioned the impossibility of dirty bombs altogether. I can see what you mean. But theoretically it could be done, in that a terrorist could make a device containing radioactive materials.

But, and I think this was your point, it would not really cause any damage. And that was basically my point to. So we may be on the same page for the most part. It was interesting to read some of the feedback. And like I said, I just want people to understand, for the most part, that a dirty bomb is not something to be afraid of. The chances of it happening and causing damage is low.

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 08:25 PM
Hi Jiggy: I'd like to add that in many way dirty bombs can be much worse than a nuke. They can be tiny, affect a lot of people in widely different areas, and unlike a nuke...there can be a LOT of them.

One nuke-one generally LARGE area affected. (and hard to conceal)

MANY "dirty" radiological bombs (small and easily concealed)-many areas and folks affected with fallout in many different locales

(EMT/ERT/FEMA 1st Responder-and we train for these events....over...and over...and....!!!!)

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