[ RadSafe ] Shielding of DEVICES

Clayton J Bradt CJB01 at health.state.ny.us
Thu Jan 5 12:50:21 CST 2012

Joe Presig wrote:
...   A person who can bring to bear such a DEVICE into  another nation 
would probably be able to
design a radiation shield(s) to make it very difficult and/or impossible 
 detect such a DEVICE.
     As Oppenheimer once responded to the question (How  would you detect 
such a weapon),
he wryly suggested that one needs a screwdriver to detect such DEVICES. 
(i.e not some
sophisticated radiation detector(s)).  Hopefully USA and other  nation's 
will use direct inspection of
containers, shipping packages etc. to look for nuclear DEVICES  directly

There is no instrumental solution to this problem.  Save for dismantling 
every package (as Oppenheimer's remarks suggest)
 before it crosses the border, there will always be ways to circumvent any 
surveillance system.  The amount of time and 
money being spent on developing new super-duper detection systems is 
largely wasted.  It would be far better spent 
on trying to figure out why some people want to attack us, and then 
convincing them not to do so.  (This of course would
risk the possibility of learning that some people might have good reasons 
for hating us.  It's a risk worth taking, in my view.)

Clayton J. Bradt
Principal Radiophysicist
NYS Dept. of Health
Biggs Laboratory, Room D486A
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12201-0509


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