[ RadSafe ] Shielding of DEVICES

Jim Darrough darrougj at onid.orst.edu
Thu Jan 5 13:29:03 CST 2012

My two cents...

I would consider researching something called "neutron interrogation" before
I jumped at the screwdriver solution. These were not available during
Oppenheimer's reign.

Jim Darrough

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Clayton J Bradt
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 10:50 AM
To: JPreisig at aol.com
Cc: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Shielding of DEVICES

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 to
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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