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Radiation experts confirm polonium on Arafat clothing

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posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 10:05 AM
I wasn't quite sure where to put this one. This can't be good for events and the overall tinderbox the Middle East has become now more than ever?

AFP - Swiss radiation experts have confirmed they found traces of polonium on clothing used by Yasser Arafat which "support the possibility" the veteran Palestinian leader was poisoned.

In a report published by The Lancet at the weekend, the team provide scientific details to media statements made in 2012 that they had found polonium on Arafat's belongings.

The polonium samples were measured at "several mBq," or millibecquerels, a unit of radioactivity.

Computer modelling, which calculates polonium's very fast decay, found that these levels "are compatible with a lethal ingestion of several GBq," or several billion becquerels, in 2004, they said.

In addition, says the report, Arafat's clinical symptoms "could not rule out" polonium poisoning.

What does everyone think? I've personally been a skeptical bunny to say the very least and almost entirely because making the old man a martyr seemed insane beyond measure. When he was younger with more years ahead of him to cause trouble, I know Israel spent years trying to catch him in the right spot. He didn't sleep in a different bed every night for personal pleasure, after all. This?

Well, I do notice the article hedges quite a bit and whether that's due to the time buried making the evidence less than 100% certain or the interference of naturally occurring material confusing things isn't clear, apparently.

This is a horrible thing to get wrong and leave a big fat question, IMO.

A couple notes from an IAEA Data sheet on Polonium-210 are worth reading....

Polonium-210 (Po-210) is a radioactive element that occurs naturally and is present in the environment at extremely low concentrations.

Polonium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie in 1898 and was named after Marie's native land of Poland (Latin: Polonia). This element was the first one discovered by them while they were investigating the cause of pitchblende radioactivity.

So.. if it's rare? How do we get any? How did the Russian FSB defector, Alexander Litvinenko, ingest enough of this to die in what is widely believed to have been Russia silencing a problem?

Being produced during the decay of naturally occurring uranium-238, polonium-210 is widely distributed in small amounts in the earth's crust. Although it can be produced by the chemical processing of uranium ores or minerals, uranium ores contain less than 0.1 mg Po-210 per ton. Because Po-210 is produced from the decay of radon-222 gas, it can be found in the atmosphere from which it is deposited on the earth's surface. Although direct root uptake by plants is generally small, Po-210 can be deposited on broad-leaved vegetables. Deposition from the atmosphere on tobacco leaves results in elevated concentrations of Po-210 in tobacco smoke. There are tiny amounts of Po-210 in our bodies.

Po-210 can be manufactured artificially by irradiating stable bismuth-209 with thermal neutrons resulting in the formation of radioactive Bi-210, which decays (half-life 5 days) into Po-210. Polonium may now be made in milligram amounts in this procedure which uses high neutron fluxes found in nuclear reactors. Only about 100 grams are produced each year, making polonium exceedingly rare.
IAEA Datasheet

In my opinion, using this stuff is like signing a name to the deed for the rarity, short half life and exceptional properties it has as a weapon of assassination. The nature of an Alpha emitting particle is such that it's almost insanely destructive and dangerous direct contact with organic material (eat or drink it) but a sheet of paper if enough shielding to largely, if not entirely block that same emitted energy.

It's a high tech weapon of extreme precision, as the Litvinenko murder demonstrated. I sure hope there are errors here somewhere. There are few men worse, I can imagine, to be a true and proper Martyr. I think this would punch the ticket if proven without doubt?


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