[ RadSafe ] Airport arrest turns up nuclear info

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 16 13:01:57 CST 2006


Airport arrest turns up nuclear info
Canada dismisses report it may sell nuclear firm  
China's Hu set to offer Pakistan nuclear plants
Tests, cleanup continue after radiation leak at Princeton

Airport arrest turns up nuclear info
DETROIT Nov 16 - A man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport 
after officials say they found him carrying nearly $79,000 in cash 
and a laptop computer containing information about nuclear materials 
and cyanide. 
Sisayehiticha Dinssa, an unemployed U.S. citizen, was arrested 
Tuesday after a dog caught the scent of narcotics on cash he was 
carrying, according to an affidavit filed in court.

When agents asked him if he had any cash to declare, he said he had 
$18,000, authorities said. But when agents checked his luggage, they 
found an additional amount of about $60,900. When they scrolled 
through his laptop, they said they found the mysterious files.

At a court hearing Wednesday, Dinssa was ordered held in custody 
until at least until Monday at the request of prosecutors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leonid Feller argued Dinssa was a potential 
risk to the community and federal agents want to get a warrant to 
search his computer more thoroughly, The Detroit News reported 
Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Donald Scheer approved Feller's request to 
detain him.

Dinssa, who is from Dallas, arrived in Detroit from Nigeria by way of 
Amsterdam and was headed for Phoenix, Feller said. He is charged with 
concealing more than $10,000 in his luggage, which carries a maximum 
penalty of five years in prison, the Detroit Free Press reported.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with his lawyer, Leroy 

Canada dismisses report it may sell nuclear firm  

TORONTO (Reuters) Nov 16 - Canada denied a newspaper report on 
Thursday that it might sell Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the 
government-owned nuclear technology company
The Globe and Mail, citing numerous sources, said Ottawa was mulling 
restructuring AECL, which builds the Candu nuclear reactors. One 
option could see its reactor construction and servicing units sold 
off, the paper said, while another option would be to sell AECL 

The office of the Minister of Natural Resources, Gary Lunn, denied 
the report.

"AECL is not for sale," said spokeswoman Kathleen Olson. She declined 
to speculate on whether an eventual sale of all or part of AECL's 
assets was an option being studied for the future.

The paper said potential bidders for AECL included Ontario's Bruce 
Power Inc., whose main partners are Cameco Corp. and TransCanada 
Corp.; French-based Areva NP; and Team Candu, an AECL-led group of 
companies including SNC-Lavalin Group, General Electric Canada and 
Hitachi Canada.

"There's obviously a lot of interest in nuclear these days," a 
federal official is quoted as saying by the newspaper, adding a deal 
was not imminent.

Earlier this week, Japan's Hitachi Ltd. said it would join forces 
with U.S.-based General Electric Co. and combine their nuclear power 
operations in two joint ventures to expand business overseas.

As well as building Canada's commercial heavy-water reactors, AECL 
has built reactors in Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, South Korea 
and Romania.

China's Hu set to offer Pakistan nuclear plants

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao is poised to unveil 
an ambitious expansion of nuclear power cooperation with Pakistan 
when he visits next week, testing China's balance between Pakistan 
and its wary neighbor, India. 

On the first trip to Pakistan by a Chinese president in a decade, Hu 
is likely to announce that China will help the South Asian nation 
construct several nuclear plants in coming decades, said analysts and 
diplomatic sources.

"The political intent is quite certain. The specifics are less 
certain, but this will be a political gesture above all," said one 
diplomatic observer in Beijing. He spoke on condition of anonymity, 
citing the official secrecy around discussions.

There has been no official word of any nuclear deal during Hu's visit 
and Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said no new 
deal was imminent.

"Pakistan and China have long-standing cooperation in the civilian 
nuclear field and this is continuing. There are no specific 
agreements at the moment to be signed," she said.

Islamabad has asked China to build it up to six reactors of 600 or 
more megawatts, at least twice the size of the 300 megawatt reactor 
China built at Chashma in Pakistan's eastern province of Punjab, 
according to the Beijing-based observer.

The broad agreement appears likely, however, to leave the scale and 
specifics of cooperation for future talks -- and also leave open 
whether China, with its own bold plans for expanding nuclear power, 
can spare the expertise to back Pakistan's expansion.

But even a vague agreement will remind the world that China values 
its "all-weather friend" Pakistan, even while Beijing courts India, a 
sometimes bitter rival of both countries. Hu will visit India before 


"Pakistan has been eager for a nuclear deal and raised it a number of 
times," said Zhang Li of the Institute of South Asian Studies at 
Sichuan University in southwest China.

"I think there are signs that Hu will make an announcement during 
this visit to show relations are developing in a healthy direction."

India and Pakistan both staged nuclear explosions in 1998 and have 
refused to joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that would 
oblige them to give up atomic weapons.

An announcement during Hu's visit would cap intense lobbying from 
Islamabad, eager to expand nuclear ties with Beijing and offset 
India's influence and U.S.-backed nuclear energy plan.

Last year, India signed an atomic energy pact with the United States 
that Congress is now studying, but Washington rebuffed Islamabad's 
efforts to reach a similar agreement. Pakistan has been keen to show 
that it does not lack other sources of support.

When Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf visited Beijing in 
February, both sides announced they would "continue strengthening 
cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy."

China's Foreign Ministry would not directly say whether Hu would 
announce a deal during his visit, but said Beijing wanted to build on 
the two countries' current pact on nuclear energy cooperation.

"This visit will play a major milestone role," spokeswoman Jiang Yu 
told reporters. "We're willing to expand cooperation with Pakistan 
within the framework of this agreement."

The Beijing-based China Business Times reported in August that China 
was likely to announce in November it would sell Pakistan six 300-
megawatt plants. 

China has said any nuclear cooperation would be for peaceful purposes 
only and would accept international safeguards. 

But a nuclear agreement may rankle Washington, worried about China's 
atomic exports, especially after Pakistan's chief nuclear scientist, 
A.Q. Khan, admitted in 2004 that he sold nuclear know-how to        
Iran, Libya and        North Korea. Before China joined the NPT in 
1992, it helped Pakistan develop nuclear weapons, the United States 
has said. 

A Washington official said on Monday that President George W. Bush 
may raise worries about Pakistan's nuclear program when he meets Hu 
at the APEC meeting in Hanoi this week. 

"We have any many occasions spoken very clearly about our concerns 
about proliferation and proliferation by Chinese entities to 
Pakistan," the official said in Washington, according to a State 
Department Web site (www.fpc.state.gov)

Tests, cleanup continue after radiation leak at Princeton

PRINCETON TOWNSHIP Nov 16 -- Testing and cleanup efforts went on 
yesterday and were expected to continue through at least today in 
Jadwin Hall where a leak of a small amount of radiation was found 
Monday during a routine safety check by Princeton University staff, 
the university said yesterday. 

Cass Cliatt, a university spokeswoman, said the ongoing cleanup and 
testing is limited to the two laboratories within Jadwin Hall where 
the source of the leak, strontium-90, was stored and handled by a 
researcher. A radioactive isotope, strontium-90 can cause bone 
disorders and disease, including cancer. 
Other tests conducted in the wake of Monday's discovery showed that 
the leak was extremely small -- "too minute to cause harm" -- and did 
not contaminate any public areas outside the two laboratories, the 
university said. 

Thus, the remainder of Jadwin Hall has remained in use by university 
faculty, staff and students. 

As a matter of protocol, the leak has been reported to the federal 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Cliatt said. 

But because the leak was so small, there has been no need to involve 
outside agencies, and all testing and cleanup are being handled 
entirely by fully trained university physicists and health and safety 
specialists, she said. 

University officials, while conducting a regularly scheduled six-
month environmental safety inspection, on Monday discovered traces of 
the radiation leak in the two third-floor laboratories, and quickly 
traced the leak to a small tear in the seal of one of the radioactive 
isotopes researchers use to test detectors that identify high-energy 
particles in elementary particle physics research, Cliatt said. 

The researcher who had been working with the isotope has reported no 
feelings of illness, the university has said. 

All of the isotopes have been taken out of service as a precaution 
while officials investigate how the tear occurred, the university 

"The benefit here is that the problem was detected by routine safety 
checks, and so the spread of the material was minimal," Professor 
Daniel Marlow, Princeton's physics department chairman, said in a 
news release that was issued by the university Tuesday night to 
announce the leak. 

"Many medical procedures that we get without thinking about it give 
off radiation in greater levels than would have been the exposure of 
someone working directly with this source," Marlow said in the 

Cliatt said this was the first time in at least 29 years a radiation 
leak from a test source has been discovered on the campus, but she 
did not immediately have information whether there were any leaks 
prior to that time.

Sandy Perle

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