Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Missing Radioactive Materials

I read in The Asahi Shimbun today that Japan's Environmental Ministry reported losing a 10-kilogram sample of radioactive soil from Fukushima Daiichi:
Tsuyoshi Kawamura (2018, August 15). Ministry loses radioactive soil sent to Tokyo from Fukushima. The Asahi Shimbun
You would think governments would treat radioactive materials more carefully but it turns out they go missing with alarming regularity.

I imagine there are many reasons radioactive materials "go missing." Sometimes unwanted radioactive materials go missing conveniently as they are dumped somewhere. Remember the story of the Italian mafia dumping radioactive waste off of Italy's coast?

Other times radioactive material is stolen, especially when it can be used to make weapons.

The US has a clear record of missing radioactive materials:
US nuclear materials stolen last year are still missing - BBC News
Jul 16, 2018 - A new report claims that nuclear materials stolen from US Department of Energy (DOE) employees last year in Texas are still missing.

Weapons grade plutonium goes missing from US university | The ... › News › World › Americas
May 5, 2018 - The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the university could not account for about a 30th of an ounce (one gram) of the material, which is ...

The US government has trouble keeping track of radioactive material ...
Jul 17, 2018 - In March 2017, thieves made off with radiation detectors and small ... But the fact that the radiological materials could be stolen is a bad sign.

Plutonium is missing, but the government says nothing | Center for ...
Jul 16, 2018 - Losses of civilian nuclear material are usually disclosed, but when the government loses nuclear bomb ingredients it stays mum.

Stolen plutonium still missing after more than a year: report | TheHill
Jul 16, 2018 - An unknown amount of radioactive nuclear material that was stolen from ... security experts in San Antonio more than a year ago is still missing, ...

Plutonium Stolen From Texas Last Year Eludes US Authorities ...
Jul 17, 2018 - The worst part of the news is that the stolen radioactive material is only a fraction of all nuclear material stolen or lost in the US. According to the ...

This alarming map shows dozens of radioactive materials thefts and ...
Dec 6, 2013 - Nuclear material is stolen or lost dozens of times every year. This map shows where.

Small amount of nuclear material stolen last year: Police - ABC News 17, 2018 - Federal watchdogs have previously flagged troubles tracking lost nuclear material overseas. Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability ...

The lesson from these stories is that radioactive materials are NEVER fully contained.



  1. They do not care. It is like americium and medical waste

    1. Radionuclide contamination in the atmosphere, is destroying the ozone. Radionuclide pollution, is destroying the life-giving chemistry of biomolecules on earth, that animate us! The vast amount of , ever-increasing radionuclide in our world are expoentially poisoning and changing the chemistry of pur whole planet! Through free radical formations osone is chanhed and destroyed. Same in the ocean. Massive and multi-radionuclide conatmination is increasing ocean acidification exponentially.

  2. Well, how many people do you know who are very alert, intelligent, knowledgeable, commonsensical, etc.? I myself do not know many. You either grow up in a good family or you make up for it later on; or you become one of those people one reads about in the news who does something stupid and starts a big fire or the like. Just having a high IQ does not substitute for this practical intelligence which is really not common at all. My own theory is that urbanism tends to cultivate helpless people . . .as America becomes more and more urban people become less and less competant except for the specilaized job. You will not find many farm chldren who are so stupid in practical matters. Or small town people. This seems so obvious to me. When my older daughter went off to a private liberal arts college she was amazed at how hepless the other students were at everyday things.
    First people lose healthy and strong bodies; then their minds become rubbery and unfocused. Like overly domesticated pets that can not survive on their own versus wolfs and wild cats.
    Yes, you would think radioacive material would catch people's attention. Since it does not one has to adjust what one thinks about various groups and types of people.

    1. From Stuart Bramhall
      Russia: the World’s Asbestos Behemoth – ICIJ
      Posted on August 15, 2018
      Seventy thousand people live in Asbest, once known as “the dying city” for its extraordinary rates of lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
      AGR Daily 60 Second News Bites

      Russia: the World’s Asbestos Behemoth – ICIJ

      MOSCOW — In the aptly named city of Asbest, in the Ural Mountains 900 miles (1500 km) northeast of Moscow, the dominance of Russia’s asbestos industry — the world’s largest — is on clear display. Just east of the city is the massive open-pit Uralasbest mine. At seven miles (11 km) long and 1-½ miles (2.5 km) wide, it is nearly half the size of Manhattan — and more than a thousand feet (300 meters) deep. Nearly half a million metric tons of asbestos are gouged from the mine each year.

      Seventy thousand people live in Asbest, once known as “the dying city” for its extraordinary rates of lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. But Uralasbest does not appear to have suffered any loss of status. It and other Russian asbestos producers operate with the swagger that comes from unwavering government support.

    2. Trump Administraton Pushes Hard for Space Force
      By Karl Grossman Message Karl Grossman
      (Page 1 of 4 pages) Permalink

      The Trump administration is pushing hard on its scheme to create a Space Force. Last week Vice President Pence, chairman of a newly reconstituted National Space Council, in a speech at the Pentagon declared: "The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield."

      Pence claimed--falsely: "Our adversaries have transformed space into a warfighting domain already and the United States will not shrink from the challenge."

      Trump, who in June announced he was "directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces," following Pence's address Thursday promptly tweeted: "Space Force all the way!"

      At the same time, signaling that the Space Force drive will be used politically, the Trump campaign organization sent out an email asking supporters to choose between six Space Force logos that were depicted. "President Trump wants a Space Force--a groundbreaking endeavor for the future of America and the final frontier," wrote Brad Parscale, campaign manager of "Donald J. Trump for President, 2020." "To celebrate President Trump's huge announcement, our campaign will be selling a new line of gear." He asked backers pick "your favorite logo."

      "This is a crucial moment where the public must stand and say 'hell no!" said Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, on his blog. "Star Wars" isn't "affordable, is an insane idea, and would very likely lead to WW III--the final war," said Gagnon.

      The Global Network ( ), based in Maine and founded in 1992, decided at its annual meeting, in June in Oxford, United Kingdom, to have the Space Force scheme be the target of its "International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space."

      It will be held between October 6 and 13 with protests and other actions against the Space Force plan happening throughout the United States and internationally. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Chapter, is the co-sponsor.

      "How in the world can our bankrupt nation afford to pay for Star Wars which the aerospace industry has long claimed would be the largest industrial project in human history?" said Gagnon. "The only way is to completely destroy social progress--cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what little is left of the welfare program. Are you going to stand for that?"


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