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Re: CNN-> RADSAFE list, where are you going?


Franz Schoenhofer

Habicherg. 31/7

A-1160 Vienna, AUSTRIA

Phone: -43 699 11681319

e-mail: franz.schoenhofer@chello.at


MR Dr. Franz Schoenhofer

Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

Dep. I/8U, Radiation Protection

Radetzkystr. 2

A-1031 Vienna, AUSTRIA

phone: +43-1-71100-4458

fax: +43-1-7122331

e-mail: franz.schoenhofer@bmu.gv.at

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----

Von: Chuck Cooper <cooperc@teleport.com>

An: radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu <radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu>

Datum: Dienstag, 04. Dezember 2001 22:37

Betreff: CNN-> Osama bin Laden's "Dirty Bomb"


>Device called a crude nuclear weapon designed to terrify

>December 4, 2001

>Posted: 1:25 PM EST (1825 GMT)


>WASHINGTON (CNN) -- At a meeting of senior al Qaeda leaders in

>Afghanistan within the last year, a member of the terrorist network


>a cylinder and said it contained radiological material that could be

>used in a

>so-called "dirty bomb," according to U.S. officials.



Bla, bla, bla, CNN says bla, bla, Washington Post writes bla, bla, David

Lochbaum writes and says bla, bla, bla (Norman - it is written three times

deliberately...), Greenpeace states (not enough space and time for the

thousands bla, blas that would be needed), Norman Cohen forwards more bla,

bla from whatever he gets hold into and so on and so on.

The forwarded message is so ridiculous that it would be a waste of time to

comment more than this single sentence.

So, where is RADSAFE going? I notice since weeks, that an increasing number

of the contributions are forwarded mass media articles (anthrax, crash tests

on reactor containments, x-raying members of the public to prevent

terrorism, now again the old silly story about shooting nuclear waste into

the sun, nuclear terrorism, etc. etc. and comments on these articles which

often is again a repetition of what "everybody" knows and has been discussed

also on RADSAFE over and over again.

I wonder how many replies will come for that CNN contribution, trying to

convince professional RADSAFErs about what every one knows - that these are

silly and old speculations and that the terrorist would be killed by

radiation if he would use enough Cs-137 to do real harm, maybe an estimation

of dose he would receive. Does this impress any professional RADSAFEr?

(Norman Cohen is of course not a professional RADSAFEr, but I doubt that

even he would be impressed......). Would it impress anybody at CNN if you

wrote a detailed comment on it and send it to them? Would they interview

anybody? Would any paper print it? Would anybody be enlighted if it were


May I pose another - and serious - question: Do you really believe that

people are any more scared by such nonsense? They are told everyday since

decades, that nuclear energy is poisoning them - but they still live. They

are told since weeks, that nuclear power plants will be hit by airplanes,

destroyed and spawn their deadly interior over the USA (other countries seem

not to exist in the US papers!) to kill everybody living there - but it

still has not happened. OK, so we now invent the deadly threat from hearsay

that somebody somewhere showed a metal cylinder and claimed it to be a

radiological weapon - how afraid are we because of this threat! And if some

fool would really distribute a few Bq of Cs-137, I-131 or - I hardly to

imagine - Pu-239 on Broadway or the Golden Gate Bridge? Can you imagine the

scenario? Can you imagine the traffic jam, because all the cars - and

helicopters - of the TV-stations, the reporters of newspapers would rush to

this - so dangerous - place? Distributing the news, that a long expected

threat has become real? Can you imagine all the politicians rushing there as

well to give their comments and to appear on TV?

I have since long ago advocated that RADSAFE should also discuss

sociological, political and economical questions of radiation and of our

profession. I remember some vivid discussions on that topic. But now I

believe, that "enough is enough". Let us return to more science.



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