Here is a disturbing story about what passes for materials safety in America’s nuclear complex. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
We wish we could say this is from The Onion but it’s a now viral story that’s but the latest representation of extreme government incompetence in handling deadly radioactive materials. Two Department of Energy security officials tasked with transporting deadly substances left plutonium in the back of their Ford Expedition, where it was promptly stolen from a Marriott parking lot in San Antonio.
And over a year later and after what appears to be a ham-handed investigation that was prematurely shut down perhaps for fear of public embarrassment, authorities still have no clue as to the whereabouts of what the government admits are “bomb-usable materials”.
An investigative report by the watchdog group, the Center for Public Integrity, details a March 2017 “sensitive mission” by two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory to transport dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit lab in San Antionio back to a high-secure government facility in Idaho.
This involved specialized equipment, which the report describes as “a plastic-covered disk of plutonium, a material that can be used to fuel nuclear weapons, and another of cesium, a highly radioactive isotope that could potentially be used in a so-called ‘dirty’ radioactive bomb.”
The moment where the theft is recounted is worth viewing in the original report, given how unbelievable the scenario:
But when they stopped at a Marriott hotel just off Highway 410, in a high-crime neighborhood filled with temp agencies and ranch homes, they left those sensors on the back seat of their rented Ford Expedition. When they awoke the next morning, the window had been smashed and the special valises holding these sensors and nuclear materials had vanished.
More than a year later, state and federal officials don’t know where the plutonium — one of the most valuable and dangerous substances on earth — is. Nor has the cesium been recovered.
To continue reading: US Officials Robbed Of Plutonium And Dirty Bomb Materials