[ RadSafe ] Thorium nuclear fuel cycle

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Thu Nov 19 11:19:04 CST 2009

Dirty bombs are indeed about the scare more than the hazard, and from
that point of view almost any radioactive material will do.  There are a
lot of sources that are hotter and more available than U-233 is likely
to be.  If my  eyeball calculations are correct, U-233 comes in at about
100 grams per curie, which does not compare favorably to the fission
fragments that would be separated out of the fuel at the same time (as
some are neutron poisons, if you were going to fiddle with the fuel, you
might as well take them out).  

I would feel no more reluctance about a street that had been the target
of a dirty bomb (after clean up) than I would have been before the
attack.  Clean up from rad is way easier to be certain of than clean up
from many chem and any bio attack.

-----Original Message-----
From: John R Johnson [mailto:idias at interchange.ubc.ca] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 3:35 PM
To: George Stanford; Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Cc: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Thorium nuclear fuel cycle

George and Mike

I agree with your comments on using U-233 in a nuclear bomb, but a major

factor in terrorists strategy is the "scare tactic", and "dirty
scare people even if the explosive material is TNT.

If it spreads U-233 and other radioactivity in a city street, I would
not go 
shopping there.

John R Johnson, PhD
4535 West 9th Ave
Vancouver, B. C.
V6R 2E2, Canada
idias at interchange.ubc.ca

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