[ RadSafe ] Article: Bomb-grade bazaar

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 22 08:59:33 CST 2006

Someone on another list server pointed this out.  It
is a long articles, so I only provided the initial few
paragraphs.  The whole article is located at

Bomb-grade bazaar
How industry, lobbyists, and Congress weakened export
controls on highly enriched uranium.

By Alan J. Kuperman
March/April 2006  pp. 44-50 (vol. 62, no. 02) © 2006
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
"The responsibility falls to us, to take necessary
action to prevent the horrors of 9/11 being replayed,
but on a nuclear scale," declared Spencer Abraham,
then-U.S. energy secretary, at a meeting of the
International Atomic Energy Agency in May 2004. [1]
Taking up the cudgels, he announced that Washington
was establishing a Global Threat Reduction Initiative
(GTRI), "to secure, remove, or dispose of an even
broader range of nuclear and radiological materials
around the world that are vulnerable to theft . . .
ensuring they will not fall into the hands of those
with evil intentions." The plan was applauded by many
who felt the United States was not acting quickly
enough to safeguard bomb-grade highly enriched uranium
(HEU) from terrorists. [2]

Yet, no sooner did the U.S. government take an
important step forward than it took a giant leap back.
Barely a year after Abraham's announcement, President
George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Policy Act
of 2005, which includes an amendment that loosens
restrictions on the export of HEU. Driven by a
purported need to assure the domestic supply of
medical isotopes, which was never actually at risk,
the new statute retreats from more than a
quarter-century of U.S. efforts to phase out HEU
commerce and its catastrophic risks.

The individuals responsible for this legislative
debacle comprise a sweeping cast of characters,
including foreign producers of medical isotopes, their
U.S.-based lobbyists, gullible sectors of the American
medical community, and the compliant lawmakers who
spearheaded efforts on Capitol Hill. It is a
cautionary tale of how a single foreign company can
weaken U.S. national security through misleading scare
tactics and cold cash.

. . .

"Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse."
Adlai Stevenson

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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