• Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The dirty bomb

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by thesolar65, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. thesolar65

    thesolar65 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,846
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Ratings:
    +14 / 9,741 / -25
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    For India, the threat of nuclear terrorism is real. There is growing concern that extremists are attempting to breach institutions that have radiological materials.

    [​IMG]

    As the lights in the hall dimmed and the film started playing on the large overhead screen at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the 50 heads of state, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had assembled for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC on April 1, watched with rapt attention. Just before that, US President Barack Obama had shooed the media out of the hall and informed the leaders that the film simulated a possible nuclear attack by terrorists and its aftermath. It was similar to a war-gaming session where leaders were expected to react to a developing nuclear terror attack.

    A collective gasp went up at the scenes of terrorists flying a crop duster, spraying deadly radioactive material extracted from radiological equipment found in medical institutions over a densely populated area, causing horrific sickness and death among the citizens. The film ended with the grim message of how the world will have to combat terrorists intent on causing mass casualties by afflicting population centres with radiation sickness, as the film depicted.

    The ingredients of a radiological dispersal device, or dirty bomb as it is called, are the same isotopes that make cancer treatment and blood transfusion possible. When these are packaged along with explosives and detonated in a city centre, those in the immediate vicinity will be killed by the blast. But the radioactive fallout will cause fatal radiation sickness to thousands in an area of 3 sq km-the size of Connaught Place in New Delhi-leaving behind a smouldering radiological ruin. Worse, the area would have to be cordoned off for years till disaster management forces, wearing protective gear, scrub the area clean of contamination. It is a nuclear Armageddon that the world can ill afford-the psychological, political and economic aftershocks could be felt for years after such an attack.


    A senior Indian official, who was present in the hall, told India Today that, after the movie ended, Modi, who was among the first to offer comment, told the gathering, "The only way to reduce the scope of terrorists using such weapons of mass destruction is greater international cooperation and action including information sharing, intelligence exchange and developing human resources on a mass scale to tackle the threat." Leader after leader who spoke after the Indian prime minister agreed that only their collective action could stem what Obama described as "one of the greatest threats" the world had ever faced-of terrorists using nuclear devices to cause havoc. The attacks in Mumbai, Paris and, more recently, in Brussels and Lahore, are clear indications that terrorists are looking for far bigger and more dramatic strikes which imbued the summit its sense of urgency.



    [​IMG]
    Click here to Enlarge


    Just how serious the danger of a nuclear attack by terrorists is comes from information collated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which maintains an Incident and Trafficking Data Base (ITDB) of nuclear and radioactive materials. As of December 31, 2014 (the latest figures available), the ITDB reported a total of 2,734 confirmed incidents of either unauthorised possession and related criminal activities, including theft of sensitive nuclear material and radioactive sources across the world since 1993. As the IAEA observed, "Incidents reported to the ITDB show that problems persist with regard to illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material, and with thefts, losses and other unauthorised activities and events."

    For India, the threat of nuclear terrorism is frighteningly real. It has a vast nuclear complex encompassing the full spectrum of capabilities -making nuclear weapons (it now possesses around 120 nukes), 22 reactors that generate power including some that produce weapons-grade nuclear materials, large amounts of radioactive nuclear waste (spent fuel) stored in special containment areas, and over 7,000 institutions that use radiological devices, particularly hospitals, for both diagnosis (X-rays) and treatment (cancer). While a majority of the nuclear complexes are safeguarded and agencies tasked with monitoring the movement of nuclear material in the country regarded as thorough, there are growing concerns that terrorists are employing increasingly sophisticated means to penetrate these institutions and facilities.

    There are three mains ways terrorists could stage nuclear attacks in India and the rest of the world:

    1. Detonate a nuclear bomb-either a weapon stolen from a state's arsenal or an improvised nuclear device made from weapons-grade nuclear material that they smuggled out

    2. Sabotage a major nuclear facility and cause it to release large amounts of harmful radiation

    3. Detonate a dirty bomb or radiological dispersal device in a city centre

    How vulnerable are Indian nukes?

    In India, it is extremely difficult for terrorists to either steal a nuclear weapon or carry significant amounts of weapons-grade nuclear material from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) complexes and use it to build a bomb. India's nuclear weapons reportedly lie dispersed in several sites across the country and are preserved in reinforced concrete vaults that can survive a nuclear attack from an enemy country or bunker-busting missiles. These sites are heavily guarded and accessible to only a chosen few.

    Given India's no-first-use doctrine (which means it will use its nuclear weapons only if another country employs atomic bombs to attack it), the vast arsenal remains recessed in guarded silos. Only if the threat of war escalates are these removed and mated with missiles. India has a strong command-and-control system that goes right up to the prime minister (who has the codes to give the order) and the Nuclear Command Authority, which controls all movements of nuclear weapons. It is a tightly closed loop, which operates behind an extra-thick curtain of secrecy, and has remained impenetrable not just to other wings of government but also any terrorists who plan to lay their hands on them.



    [​IMG]
    USPresident Barack Obama with PM Narendra Modi at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

    This is true of all major complexes across the country responsible for making weapons-grade nuclear material and building bombs. The two key agencies that do this are the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), which makes the nuclear core, and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which makes the explosives required for the detonation of bombs as well as the missiles used to deliver them. Complexes of these behemoths are protected by the "defence in depth" system, which has rings of fences, barriers and security-which makes them almost impenetrable. Still, as the recent terror attack on the Pathankot airbase has shown, India's critical defence facilities remain vulnerable and call for even more stringent security.

    Are India's nuclear power plants well protected?

    While stealing a bomb is almost impossible, the threat that terrorists might actually make one, especially a dirty bomb, by collecting weapons-grade nuclear material or harmful radioactive substances used or stored in India's nuclear complexes is not insignificant. Just as in all such facilities across the world, the danger comes from an "insider threat"-the large number of personnel employed in nuclear institutions with authorised access to facilities, materials and sensitive information.

    The global summit last week advocated, with good reason, that all participating countries beef up their personnel monitoring. In Belgium, whose capital Brussels was subjected to horrific terrorist attacks last month, there was a major sabotage at its Doel-4 nuclear power reactor in August 2014. One of the personnel is thought to have tampered with a critical cooling valve, which caused the turbine to overheat and destroy itself. Though it was in the non-nuclear area of the plant, it cost over $200 million and had to be shut down for several months. Belgian authorities have not caught the saboteur, but investigations revealed that an outside contractor cleared for inspecting plants had left to fight for the ISIS two years earlier. Though not a suspect in the Doel-4 incident, it is matter of concern that there was a potential jihadist who had access to vital areas of the plant.

    The fears were compounded when it was discovered that some of the ISIS operatives involved in the recent Brussels attack had in their possession hours of surveillance video taken in November 2015 of the home of a senior official in a Belgian nuclear research centre that had substantial quantities of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU), which could be used to make nuclear explosives. Investigators suspect that they planned to kidnap the official or his family in an effort to gain access to the facility and its sensitive uranium. This is being regarded as the first confirmation of ISIS's nuclear intent. It is well known that its forerunner Al-Qaeda was after nuclear explosives and even appointed a "nuclear CEO" to obtain them but failed to do so.

    Indian nuclear establishments already have a robust Personnel Reliability Programme (PRP) for all employees working in their facilities. There are measures to vet and verify all those being inducted, including family and criminal history, apart from screening them for serious medical conditions. Periodic reviews are done to study employee behavioural patterns and the company they keep. But a report last year by Dr Rajeshwari Pillai Rajagopalan, Senior Fellow of the Observer Research Foundation, found that protocols for hiring of contractors and short-term labourers were erratic even though restricted to the outer periphery of the nuclear complex.

    The dirty bomb : Cover Story - India Today 18042016
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
  2. thesolar65

    thesolar65 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,846
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Ratings:
    +14 / 9,741 / -25
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    @Rain Man @ranjeet @PARIKRAMA @Abingdonboy @sudhir007

    My point is if such a situation arises in India and if India finds out that the bomb material has indeed came from our neighboring country (of course without the knowledge of top leaders, but nonetheless by so called non-state actors with tacit support from you know who), would India consider it as a nuclear strike by that country? And what should be its reaction?

    @Desertfalcon @C130 @Hamartia Antidote @Oldman1 @mike2000 is back

    To you all the above question. All the big powers will advise to have restraint and promise to take stern action and so on. But if some thing like this happened in your country i.e US or UK, how will you react and with what force?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. Sky lord

    Sky lord SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    3,149
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Ratings:
    +5 / 4,206 / -4
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    India needs to find a way to side step US pressure.

    Tell them to go phuk themselves.
     
  4. thesolar65

    thesolar65 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,846
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Ratings:
    +14 / 9,741 / -25
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. jamahir

    jamahir ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    13,920
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Ratings:
    +20 / 12,301 / -8
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    this film was played in washington, seemingly with no trace of guilt or irony that usa military was the first to use nuclear explosive weapons in world war 2 and would have used in the korea war, and may i mention the four million north koreans killed by nato forces during that war??

    and then the usa military using depleted-uranium smaller rockets in the invasion of iraq in 1990-91 and again during 2003/after... uncountable iraqis were afflicted with cancers through the use of these rockets.

    and then it is said that in the 2003 war during the usa military attempt to take baghdad airport they used a neutron bomb.

    these are war-crimes and genocide for which the two main organizers of the 2003 war - messers ( pun intended ) bush and blair, have already been declared in absentia as war criminals by the 'kuala lumpur war crimes commission' and of course any near-future internal progressive people's committee will grab the two and deliver justice, or it is hoped that the iraqis will avenge their suffering by the two.

    yes, india must be concerned about nuclear terrorism, internal and external, and about nuclear war, but for india to talk about nuclear dangers india must as a united front talk about the continuing sufferings of iraqis and discuss the perpetrator... indians are no more sacred than iraqis or any other country's people... this is a reasonable and humanitarian logic.

    therefore i as a humanitarian indian should also call for the indian establishment/military to exit from six-decade-old bondage to nato as nato is the only source of destabilization and anti-progress in the world.

    i being a free man reject nato and will not give my loyalty to any agency aligning with nato.

    let us remember that nato is the 'north atlantic terrorist organization' and any indian state alliance with nato will make the indian state a party to war-crimes and genocide and therefore punishable, like bush and blair... do we as indians want that situation?? should we not avoid?? :)

    obama, sarkozy and company are destined for the firing squad, unless they repent and adopt humanism/socialism.

    is the programme reliable enough to eliminate ( physically ) personnel who are affiliated to the hindutva nationalists of the sangh parivar?? are there procedures to identify sanghis like the army officer, colonel shrikant purohit?? they are the snakes and can build a "dirty bomb" in order to cause genocide and civil war in india... well, a indian civil war is already being talked about at least since early 2015.

    we must remember that the primary sangh group, rss, is the number one terrorist group in india.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  6. thesolar65

    thesolar65 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,846
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Ratings:
    +14 / 9,741 / -25
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India

    OK I will delete reference to him, but still I want your response as an Indian, if a bomb of this type actually goes off in Mumbai or Delhi and we know where the source is?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. jamahir

    jamahir ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    13,920
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Ratings:
    +20 / 12,301 / -8
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    thanks.

    then i will remove my reference too. :)

    the bombay 2008 attack was a terrorist attack targeting civilians mindlessly... the organizers and participants of that attack must of course be captured or extradited and put on trial.

    should a "dirty bomb" go off in bombay or delhi and we know where the source is ( when external ), the response should be measured and precise, like with the 2008 attack... we must see that most pakistanis ( like @Zibago , @django and @haviZsultan ) or chinese ( like @Chinese Bamboo and @TaiShang ) or cubans for that matter would never have agreed to a nuclear attack on india and indians... are you and i prepared to live with nuclear attack exchange between india and pakistan/china just because of a reactionary terrorist attack?? such a exchange can only last for a week before both india and pakistan become mostly unliveable... we are not russia, usa and china with vast lands and generally disciplined populations. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  8. thesolar65

    thesolar65 SENIOR MEMBER

    Messages:
    4,846
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Ratings:
    +14 / 9,741 / -25
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    So just seat tight and complain to UN with more than 10000 deaths and 10 times injured? You know if you were PM how much public pressure, opposition pressure, Media pressure and Army pressure there would be on you!! And you have not clearly stated what should India do? Complain to Pakistan and they tell you it was the handiwork of RAW?? And Nuclear attack is not the only option, right?
     
  9. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    15,630
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Ratings:
    +25 / 11,545 / -4
    Country:
    United States
    Location:
    United States
    I'm skeptical about the actual potential damage to people from a crop duster "dirty bomb". You'd have to have a lot of material to make it effective. I think they'd pump it into the water pipe supply first using high backflow pressure from a building upstream from a heavy populated area.

    http://www.waterworld.com/articles/...ater-supply-and-the-role-of-the-consumer.html
     
  10. jamahir

    jamahir ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    13,920
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Ratings:
    +20 / 12,301 / -8
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    you are right that that many dead and injured constitutes a grave crime that must be followed swiftly and seriously.

    your point was that we know with certainty who did it ( the external factor ), so instead of summoning the pakistani ( or chinese ) ambassador and berating him/her best would be to simultaneously do three things :

    1. send special forces to grab the organizers and participants there for bringing them for trial in india according to internationally-recognized common sense laws and reasoning.

    2. grab or eliminate the india-local infiltrators and participants.

    3. make complaint to uno with a hint that "action will be taken against the perpetrators and this being the right of india by fair law" without specifying when the action will take place.

    again, these must be simultaneous events... it would be silly for the other country ( say pakistan or china ) to launch a all-out nuclear attack for this without even complaining to the uno.

    if i was the pm i would do the above things and not immediately listen to the nationalist/jingoistic elements among the public and their provocateurs in that certain raucous section of the media and i would not listen to the as much nationalist high-command of the army... it will be silly of the army to launch a coup against my government despite me being so risk-taking in bringing justice for my citizens... my risk-taking would not only be geo-political but also carry the danger of personal assassination from external agencies... and how can i allow the army to use this event to build a nationalism-drenched atmosphere leading india into a all-out nuclear war which would only destroy india and also destroy those innocents in the other country who did not consent for the initial attack??
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  11. T-Rex

    T-Rex ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    10,012
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Ratings:
    +0 / 7,347 / -11
    Country:
    Bangladesh
    Location:
    Bangladesh
    I read a report stating that fissile material went missing or perhaps they were stolen in india. Somebody please help me out here, I don't remember the time or the source. Following that there was another report of Armenia having developed a dirty bomb. Do you think there might be a connection?
     
  12. jamahir

    jamahir ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    13,920
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Ratings:
    +20 / 12,301 / -8
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    India
    processed fissile material or uranium ore??

    though there is risk with the fissiles too :
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  13. T-Rex

    T-Rex ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    10,012
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Ratings:
    +0 / 7,347 / -11
    Country:
    Bangladesh
    Location:
    Bangladesh
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. Rajaraja Chola

    Rajaraja Chola BANNED

    Messages:
    9,054
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Ratings:
    +3 / 10,223 / -6
    Country:
    India
    Location:
    Canada
    Its tough for Pakistani terrorists to infiltrate into India with stolen nuclear materials from Pakistan. I mean even for a low yield dirty bomb you need some level of enrichment, which is near to impossible. Even ISI is not that stupid. According to Headly there was a reason Thrombay was not selected from list of places to be attacked due to retaliatory attack.

    But insider help from radicalised person is possible. If the material is proved to be beyond doubt from Pakistan, then punishment through war is the only option. For stopping doubts, we need to stop smuggling or thefts of non nuclear materials but used in Nuclear industries.
     
  15. C130

    C130 ELITE MEMBER

    Messages:
    8,095
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Ratings:
    +4 / 7,357 / -5
    Country:
    United States
    Location:
    United States
    I have a general idea how we will react, but I know we shouldn't get caught into another war fervor and invade the country that helped the terrorists. that's exactly what they want tp happen. get caught in another war and occupation and drain our resources.