Hoax Or Scoop - ABC News Rolls The Dice
But what is the threat from a “dirty bomb”. Such a bomb has two components, the conventional explosive used to distribute the radioactive material and the radio-isotopes themselves. Let’s look at the explosive first. The bigger the bomb, the farther it will throw the radio-isotopes. A bomb that can be smuggled by foot across the border can’t be very big . Therefore, its effective throw weight is quite low. The radius that will be exposed is minor. The principal threat will be fear borne of ignorance, not radioactivity. As to the cleanup, most isotopes have extremely high atomic weights (e.g. Uranium or Plutonium). This will further reduce the throw distance (a golf ball flies farther than a baseball). The larger size will make it easier to vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum. Most of these have extremely long half-lives. So the chance of a specific atom fissioning is remote. Most medical isotopes, have very short half-lives. They would lose most of their radioactivity during the trip from Iraq, through Mexico, New York and on to Boston. So the remaining threat is stuff like Strontium 90 (remember that from the 50’s? - a threat to children through milk?). So a quick cleanup and disposal would neutralize the threat. Meanwhile, I don’t expect too many cows to eat the sidewalk of downtown Boston.