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Old August 7th, 2017, 09:59 AM   #1

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Nuke in US


What kind of possibility is there that a terrorist group or even North Korea has a nuclear device in the US, considering the tons of drugs that make it in each year?

If the US was threatened by use of such a device, how would we (they) respond? If the material was stolen and a particular country couldn't be held accountable? IIRC an ex-head of the NSA or someone said it was inevitable. Is it??
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Old August 7th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #2
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Fissionable material is easily detected by radiation detectors. Since 9/11 radiation detectors have been going up everywhere, less because terrorists have nuclear weapons and more because the detection technology is cheap and fairly reliable. A dirty bomb is more likely than a true nuclear weapon because dirty bombs are mechanically simpler to make. But I agree, sooner or later, a terrorist group will inevitably get a nuclear weapon. I can only hope it won't be in my lifetime.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Fissionable material is easily detected by radiation detectors. Since 9/11 radiation detectors have been going up everywhere, less because terrorists have nuclear weapons and more because the detection technology is cheap and fairly reliable. A dirty bomb is more likely than a true nuclear weapon because dirty bombs are mechanically simpler to make. But I agree, sooner or later, a terrorist group will inevitably get a nuclear weapon. I can only hope it won't be in my lifetime.
Those are my thoughts, too. Hope we don't have to live through anything too nasty; it's a sad species that hopes it dies before it has to reap what it sows.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 12:39 PM   #4
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Nukes aren't the threat, dirty bombs are. Much easier to get the materials (every hospital with standard modern machinery has it) and they can deny terrain permanently. Blow one in an inner city and nobody can even drive through that area ever again, the clean up would be so ruinously expensive its nearly impossible to contemplate.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 01:05 PM   #5

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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
Nukes aren't the threat, dirty bombs are. Much easier to get the materials (every hospital with standard modern machinery has it) and they can deny terrain permanently. Blow one in an inner city and nobody can even drive through that area ever again, the clean up would be so ruinously expensive its nearly impossible to contemplate.
A horrible thought. Reminds me of the Atomic Boy Scout, but a hell of a lot worse.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 01:58 AM   #6

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I don't think any terrorists will ever get a full on nuke unless they are given one by a state, and sanctioned at the highest level, or some sort of rogue element in a state that has the ability to give terrorists a bomb.

The only type of nuke that terrorists could use would be a MADM or a SADM, or something essentially the same. DPRK seems to have difficulty making full size nukes detonate, so I doubt they will have the ability to miniturize one any time soon. Russia certainly has them, and I presume China does, and also India and Pakistan. But as the type of fissionable material could be traced back to a country of origin, I doubt any of those countries, or even rogue elements, really want their country turned into a slag heap due to retaliation.

I don't want to sound all tinfoil hat here, but a more likely scenario for a nuke going off in the States is perhaps the scenario shown in the TV show, "Jericho".
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Old August 12th, 2017, 04:24 AM   #7

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Thanks, Corvidius! Haven't seen Jericho, but I will look at plot summary. Dirty bombs would seem most probable to me.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:11 PM   #8
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Let's put it this way, if you spend 100 million dollars building your own nuclear weapon (or stealing one) you aren't going to just give it to three guys in an F-150 pickup covered by a tarp.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 07:41 PM   #9

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Absolutely. You would definitely want the guys to pull up in a F-350 to establish their credibility.
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Old August 12th, 2017, 08:58 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Feinman View Post
A horrible thought. Reminds me of the Atomic Boy Scout, but a hell of a lot worse.
Glad you mentioned that. A cautionary tale on different levels
the Wiki article is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hahn
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