Nuclear or Radiological Terrorist Attack Debate

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
Russians will arm a terrorist group with a heavy weapon up to a small nuke for use against the West
Any nuclear device leaves a radioactive fingerprint. Russia would not do that as the international community will be able to very easily track where the Uranium or Plutonium came from in the bomb that was used. Then bye bye Russia and bye bye everything for Putin.
 

Six

Active member
Any nuclear device leaves a radioactive fingerprint. Russia would not do that as the international community will be able to very easily track where the Uranium or Plutonium came from in the bomb that was used. Then bye bye Russia and bye bye everything for Putin.
I've always wondered about that though, I mean defense agencies are tasked with imagining an endless series of possibilities. I've always wondered if it were possible to produce a few weapons with pits made from unknown reactors. Is that possible? An untraceable weapon?
 

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
I've always wondered if it were possible to produce a few weapons with pits made from unknown reactors. Is that possible? An untraceable weapon?
No. It's not about what reactors makes the fuel but where the raw material was mined. All uranium mines are logged for this reason. We know the fingerprint of all uranium mines anywhere. The Uranium mined in America has a 100% difference fingerprint then Russian mined uranium, and same for any other nation/region.

No way to get around it. International community has a record of all uranium signatures/fingerprints from all over the world.
 

Six

Active member
No. It's not about what reactors makes the fuel but where the raw material was mined. All uranium mines are logged for this reason. We know the fingerprint of all uranium/plutonium mines anywhere. The Uranium mined in America has a 100% difference fingerprint then Russian mined uranium, and same for any other nation/region.
Oh! Ok I didn't know that. I thought the material was altered in the refinement process and that was the distinction.
That makes sense.
 

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
No. It's not about what reactors makes the fuel but where the raw material was mined. All uranium mines are logged for this reason. We know the fingerprint of all uranium/plutonium mines anywhere. The Uranium mined in America has a 100% difference fingerprint then Russian mined uranium, and same for any other nation/region.

No way to get around it. International community has a record of all uranium signatures/fingerprints from all over the world.
Now with that said its notoriously known that Russia poorly guards its decommissioned warheads and material from said warheads. Or Russian military susceptible to corruption/bribery could lead to serious breaches in containment of nuclear material.

Middle East terrorist could in theory get Russian material build their own suitcase nuke and use it on EU. Which could put the blame wrongly on Russia. Which would go without saying be really bad.
 
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william

Power Poster II
No. It's not about what reactors makes the fuel but where the raw material was mined. All uranium mines are logged for this reason. We know the fingerprint of all uranium/plutonium mines anywhere. The Uranium mined in America has a 100% difference fingerprint then Russian mined uranium, and same for any other nation/region.

No way to get around it. International community has a record of all uranium signatures/fingerprints from all over the world.
Didn't Mrs. Cliton sell 2o% of US uranium mining rights to russia? Would it be possible to use some of our own uranium against us through a proxy?
 

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
Didn't Mrs. Cliton sell 2o% of US uranium mining rights to russia? Would it be possible to use some of our own uranium against us through a proxy?
Well that's a interesting thought. But wouldn't it be obvious if a suitcase nuke was used on EU/US and had American radioactive fingerprint?

Only explanation would be the Uranium we gave Russia or less likely somehow terrorist got a hold of highly secured material from the West. I'd believe the first scenario more then terrorist getting a hold of American highly secured material.
 

Six

Active member
Well that's a interesting thought. But wouldn't it be obvious if a suitcase nuke was used on EU/US and had American radioactive fingerprint?

Only explanation would be the Uranium we gave Russia or less likely somehow terrorist got a hold of highly secured material from the West. I'd believe the first scenario more then terrorist getting a hold of American highly secured material.
That's what makes this interesting though, I mean whom do you hold responsible if that were to happen? You know the population will be blood thirsty in the aftermath
 

Dr Arthur

Active member
Oh! Ok I didn't know that. I thought the material was altered in the refinement process and that was the distinction.
That makes sense.
All to do with the trace microcontaminants that are not fully removed by refining. There may be minor changes in processing but the basic fingerprint remains.
 

Dr Arthur

Active member
If you managed to bring nuclear material in you could possibly smuggle if adequate shielding but I did like the Tom Clancy story of attaching small radioactive samples on pigeons but I would add rats for multiple false sources scurrying all over the place making it difficult to track just where the shield source is. Or release before hand by several days/weeks to cause alert fatigue first.
 

Six

Active member
If you managed to bring nuclear material in you could possibly smuggle if adequate shielding but I did like the Tom Clancy story of attaching small radioactive samples on pigeons but I would add rats for multiple false sources scurrying all over the place making it difficult to track just where the shield source is. Or release before hand by several days/weeks to cause alert fatigue first.
Which book was that? I've read a few but thats clever
 

Yingyang

Power Poster
No. It's not about what reactors makes the fuel but where the raw material was mined. All uranium mines are logged for this reason. We know the fingerprint of all uranium/plutonium mines anywhere. The Uranium mined in America has a 100% difference fingerprint then Russian mined uranium, and same for any other nation/region.

No way to get around it. International community has a record of all uranium signatures/fingerprints from all over the world.
Radioactive materials from universities and hospitals for a dirty considering security probably isn't high enough. If American universities and hospitals than trace elements are easily identified. ? Is who did it is harder to point the finger at.
 

intel-bank

Well-known member
One nuclear warhead is the stupidest thing to detonate in the US. Its like pulling out a knife on someone who has a gun.
Russia would not intentionally do this. Now Pakistan, Iran, North Korea.... might think if they hit DC the world is saved (but you cannot nuke away the US government).

But even that is unlikely. I would say the #1 threat is terrorists in Pakistan getting ahold of Pakistans nuclear weapons (personally I think Iran is too protective of their program)
And I mean, hey, Pakistan could weasle out of the blame by reporting the stolen nuclear weapon before it was ever used.

Then again, how would a terrorist get it to America? You cant exactly put it in bananas.

I think nuclear terrorism would require some level of conspiracy. A group of someones in the US government would have to be in on it.
 
D

DucknCover

Guest
The terrorist nuke wouldn't have that big impact, if it's just a single one.
But if they could manage to smuggle a couple nukes in It would make the US government vulnerable to blackmail.
And that would have a huge impact.
 

Six

Active member
One nuclear warhead is the stupidest thing to detonate in the US. Its like pulling out a knife on someone who has a gun.
Russia would not intentionally do this. Now Pakistan, Iran, North Korea.... might think if they hit DC the world is saved (but you cannot nuke away the US government).

But even that is unlikely. I would say the #1 threat is terrorists in Pakistan getting ahold of Pakistans nuclear weapons (personally I think Iran is too protective of their program)
And I mean, hey, Pakistan could weasle out of the blame by reporting the stolen nuclear weapon before it was ever used.

Then again, how would a terrorist get it to America? You cant exactly put it in bananas.

I think nuclear terrorism would require some level of conspiracy. A group of someones in the US government would have to be in on it.
Well my original scenario was a handoff of an "orphaned" weapon up to a nuke but not necessarily one either. I agree it would be suicidally stupid for Russia to launch one solitary nuke at us. Putin is cornered not stupid.
Besides I don't actually believe this will happen in the first place.
 

DarkNoon

Dedicated Moderator
Staff member
Radioactive materials from universities and hospitals for a dirty considering security probably isn't high enough. If American universities and hospitals than trace elements are easily identified. ? Is who did it is harder to point the finger at.
The material from hospital or university isn't high grade enough to make a atomic/nuclear bomb. Make a dirty bomb sure. But weapons grade fissile material is only in US gov hands or military/government facilities.
 

Yingyang

Power Poster
Oh yes. Surprised it hasn't happened yet to be frank with you.
And much harder to throw the blame considering anyone could do it from anywhere. You would have to catch them through previous evidence like security cameras ect. Now if 2-3 with organisation like 911 , managed to set them up in 2-3 major cities, well that would be more devastating, maybe not in damage or deaths.But to the American population. Until you could prove who was responsible, really not much you could do and reaction to the country found responsible would be limited. You certainly couldn't nuke back. Difficult decision on repercussion.
 
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