Thursday, July 19, 2018

I've Seen This Movie

In the midst of all the crazy stories deriving from the Helsinki Treason Summit, there's one story which really needs more attention: a small amount of plutonium and cesium were stolen from a Department of Energy SUV parked in a San Antonio hotel lot. This is the sort of thing that happens when a corrupt boob runs the department. While the amount of missing plutonium may be small, that stuff is dangerous, so the fact that it is missing is disconcerting, to say the least.

This whole kerfuffle reminds me of the plot of one of my favorite movies, Robert Aldrich's 1955 noir classic Kiss Me Deadly, with its famous atomic McGuffin:

If you haven't watched the film, it's just about perfect, with incredible dialogue and a morally ambiguous hero who is up against absolute monsters. Do yourself a favor and watch it.


mikey said...

I dunno. You can't build a weapon without enough weapons grade fissile material to create critical mass. And for all the talk about 'dirty bombs', nobody has every used one, mostly because regular bombs are more effective in both warfare and terrorism.

But the amount of fissile material lost by nuclear weapons countries over the years is staggering. The US has actually done quite well at managing it's stockpiles, at least when compared with other nations like Soviet Russia and Pakistan. Japan has no nuclear weapons but has a HUGE stockpile of plutonium that is a tremendous risk from would-be proliferators.

But if you're interested in the topic, you should read Dr. Ferguson's book published by the organization he leads, the Federation of American Scientists.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks for the link, mikey. I downloaded it to read at my leisure. It's amazing how that whole "securing Cold War stockpiles" effort seems to have stalled.