Idaho State University was fined last week for losing a small amount of radioactive, weapons-grade plutonium that is too small to make a nuclear bomb, but could be used in a dirty bomb, according to a regulatory commission.
Dr. Cornelis Van der Schyf, vice president for research at the university, blamed partially completed paperwork from 15 years ago as the school tried to dispose of the plutonium. Fox News reports,
“Unfortunately, because there was a lack of sufficient historical records to demonstrate the disposal pathway employed in 2003, the source in question had to be listed as missing. The radioactive source in question poses no direct health issue or risk to public safety.“
No, this is not enough to build a nuclear warhead, so THAT is not a health risk or public safety concern. However, it is more than enough to make a “dirty bomb” which IS a direct risk to public safety.
The irony is, that they use the plutonium to study how to protect people from radiation and how to detect trace amounts being smuggled across our borders.
They also are not discussing how it can also poison people if it is removed from the sealed container it was in.
I understand that they need to speak softly and nice to the sheep as to not scare them, but seriously, at least tell the truth!
The university says documents from 2003 and 2004 identify the material as being on campus. But the school in Pocatello says a search in October failed to find the plutonium.
Idaho State University says it can’t find a small amount of radioactive, weapons-grade plutonium about the size of a quarter, and U.S. officials are proposing an $8,500 fine.
Also, makes one question why are the last records of the plutonium from 2003/2004 and why are we just hearing about the missing plutonium now?
The last document mentioning the plutonium is dated Nov. 23, 2003. It said the Idaho National Laboratory didn’t want the plutonium and the school’s technical safety office had it “pending disposal of the next waste shipment.”
The nuclear commission said senior university officials planned to return the school’s remaining plutonium to the Energy Department. It’s not clear if that has happened.
Energy Department officials didn’t return calls seeking comment Friday.
Dricks, the commission spokesman, said returning the plutonium was part of the school’s plan to reduce its inventory of radioactive material.
He said overall it has “a good record with the NRC.”
Attempts to minimize the scenario by saying that this school has “a good record with the NRC”.
These fools believe you can lose weapons grade PLUTONIUM and let it go unreported for 15 years and still have “a good record” with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!