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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:12 PM
Original message
Will Terrorists Attack Our Nuclear Plants Next?
A quotation to fuel some discussion:

Not long after moving to Washington she had interviewed an expert on nuclear security who had explained how easy it would be to score plutonium. The security for nuclear facilities, he said, was always contracted out. The contractors in turn hired locally and supplied their hires with minimum rounds of ammunition. Meaning, he had said, You got multimillion dollar state-of-the-art security systems being operated by downsized sheriffs deputies with maybe enough ammo to take down a coyote.

--Joan Didion, The Last Thing He Wanted

-----
Are "terrorists" the new "communists"?
Should we bolster our security around nuclear plants?
Is a shadow government complicit in the 9-11 attacks?
Are all the "terrorist alerts" phoney?
Is Tom Ridge a liar, or a puppet for other liars?
Will future attacks be against western interests overseas or
here on U.S. soil?
Will the next "terrorists" be Timothy McVeighs or Mohammed Attas?


'Am interested in what people think.

TIA
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Attack in what way? To steal materials or to blow up a plant?
Weapons-grade material is different than what's used in reactors. It'd make an O.K. "dirty bomb", but not a true nuclear device.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. True. I put Didion's quotation on the table just to --
-- suggest that security is lax.

Very good point, Mercutio.
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. There's a recent thread in the "Environment and Energy" forum on this
A recent example of the nutcase Ashcroft exploiting nuclear ignorance.

It has an interesting discussion of this topic - I think it is worth perusing.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thank you, AZCat. I'll do some meandering around over there.
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. No terrorist
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 10:51 AM by DulceDecorum
with Internet access
is going to waste his time trying to blow up a nuclear plant.
Half of them are falling to bits on their own little lonesome.
http://www.freep.com/news/metro/fermi27d_20050127.htm

The thing you should be worrying about is
the radioactive waste
destined for storage at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada.

Now THAT is going to be the death of you!

Osama can afford to sit in his undisclosed location
painting his toenails
as he waits for that place to go BOOM!
With a bit of luck,
maybe some of the trucks or trains that are going to bring the stuff in,
will have an accident or two en route.

That Yucca plan consists of several thousand accidents
all lined up
and waiting to happen,
and no terrorist need apply.
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. RE
Are "terrorists" the new "communists"?

No

Should we bolster our security around nuclear plants?

Already been done.

Is a shadow government complicit in the 9-11 attacks?

If you mean a shadow US government, please step away from the bong. If you mean some shadow government outside of the USA maybe.

Are all the "terrorist alerts" phoney?

No, they are real. Because of where I work I get updates every week from the state and the feds. There really are bad people trying to hurt us.

Is Tom Ridge a liar, or a puppet for other liars?

Most likely both.

Will future attacks be against western interests overseas or
here on U.S. soil?


IMO. both

Will the next "terrorists" be Timothy McVeighs or Mohammed Attas?

Why not both. The world is full of kooks

You should sleep easy at night regarding nuke plants. They are not real attractive to terrorist because the probability of success is pretty low. Stealing nuclear material is a concern, but security around that area has been markedly improved since 9/11.
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. RE: stealing nuclear material
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 11:17 AM by DulceDecorum
http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/mgmtuses/storage/where/i...
http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/faq/storage/faq18.cfm

Nobody wants that stuff.
See those workers in the pictures?
Dead men walking, every last one of them.
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I don't see any workers...
In your post, you say:
See those workers in the pictures?
Dead men walking, every last one of them.

</snip>

The two web pages that you linked to contain three images of DU cylinder storage yards (the two on one page are repeated on the other). I am unable to spot any workers in these pictures.

Is this a version of the game "Where's Waldo?" :shrug:
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. No, not visible in those particular pictures
But someone has to get up close and personal to repair this.
http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/faq/storage/faq21.cfm

And that fact that
no workers are visible in those particular photos of the facility
cause one to wonder
just who is minding the store
and from how far away they minding it.

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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Ever hear of PPE?
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 01:13 PM by LARED
It's an acronym for Personal Protective Equipment.

In short it is equipment that personal wear when handling hazardous materials in order to protect them from the hazard.

Quite common.
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yeah, sure.
The General Accounting Office said the Defense Department has lost track of at least 250,000 defective protective suits that were being stored for U.S. soldiers overseas. The congressional watchdog said more than 750,000 suits have been deemed as defective by the Pentagon.
http://www.rense.com/general31/biochem.htm

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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Let me guess
Edited on Mon Jan-31-05 08:23 PM by LARED
In your next post you will explain why you posted this. Is there some relation between missing biohem suits for the military and your notion that there are dead men walking?

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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. There are differing conclusions about the fate of nuclear waste
This is debated fairly regularly in the Environment and Energy forum, and it came up in several of my undergraduate classes.

One of my favorite professors - a Nuke Eng. from Stanford - made the point that regardless how robust the design of a container is, it's design life is nothing compared to the half-life of some of our nuclear by-products. When storing this stuff, it is inevitable that leakage will occur - it's just a question of when.

Not everyone agrees with this assessment.
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. If it's not to much trouble
can you explain what in the world you are talking about?
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. For you,
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 01:08 PM by DulceDecorum
it is too much trouble.

Just forget I said anything
and carry on with whatever it is you were doing.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. I beg to differ about security on nuclear plants.
I live about 10 minutes from Indian Point which if hit could possibly leave the northeast corridor of the US in nuclear winter. I personally know there is no air protection, and a couple of small skiffs patrol the perimeter in the Hudson River.

(btw..Indian Point was directly in the flight pattern of the 2 planes on 9/11, and if the truly wanted to create havoc, that would have been the target)

This was also a very big campaign point of the Democrats during the last Presidential race. The fact is that our power and chemical plants Are Not Being Protected. I suggest you do your homework.

Rory Kennedy did a documentary on just how protected Indian Point is. Her brother Robert Kennedy Jr. appears in it with her.


http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/indianpoint/synopsis.h...
From "Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable"

Synopsis

On the banks of the Hudson River, just 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan, sits the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Approximately 20 million people live within a 50-mile radius of Indian Point -- the highest population density surrounding any nuclear power plant in the nation.

Once touted as a dependable source of cheap, clean energy, nuclear power plants have become flashpoints for debate in the wake of 9/11. With the "9/11 Commission Report" revealing that terrorist groups have included U.S. nuclear power plants in their plans, the possibility of a terrorist attack on such a facility has become alarming.

INDIAN POINT: IMAGINING THE UNIMAGINABLE investigates why Indian Point has become such a lightning rod following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Although the plant is 40 years old, its current owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation, maintains that Indian Point is "safe, secure and vital." Opponents argue otherwise, believing its location makes it a particularly attractive terrorist target, and are fighting for its shutdown.

The risk of a radioactive release is a grave concern. Many fear that Indian Point is vulnerable to an air strike because of the lack of a "no-fly zone" over the plant. In addition, some have maintained the plant's security is ill-prepared to defend against a terrorist attack. Furthermore, Indian Point has been cited for a series of safety violations over the years.

INDIAN POINT: IMAGINING THE UNIMAGINABLE assesses the real risk of keeping the plant open in the face of post-9/11 security concerns. The documentary questions the condition of the facility, the fitness of the security force and the diligence of our government's oversight. Exploring the viewpoints of advocates committed to shutting down the plant, as well as the plant's supporters, who assert that Indian Point is sufficiently safe, the film features interviews with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, an environmental conservation group, and representatives from the Nuclear Energy Institute and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

The documentary also includes interviews with Alex Matthiessen, executive director of Riverkeeper; Edward McGaffigan, Jr. commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts; author Al Franken; Marvin Fertel, senior vice president of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI); James Lee Witt, former director of FEMA; and Helen Caldicott, M.D., founder and president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute.

INDIAN POINT: IMAGINING THE UNIMAGINABLE is produced, directed and narrated for Moxie Firecracker Films by Rory Kennedy; produced by Liz Garbus; producer and writer, Jack Youngelson; editor, David Zieff. For HBO: supervising producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins

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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. You must be kidding
I live about 10 minutes from Indian Point which if hit could possibly leave the northeast corridor of the US in nuclear winter.

Exactly how is a nuclear winter created?
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. By massive nuclear explosions. n/t
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. No, sorry
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 09:33 AM by LARED
A nuclear power plant cannot become a massive nuclear explosion. That cannot happen.

Releasing some radiation is a possibility, but mushroom cloud type scenarios are fictional.

I suggest some homework is in order.
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. This is not the "security" being discussed in the OP
The OP is about theft of nuclear materials, not attacks on nuclear plants - two separate issues.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. Unfortunately then the first poster used the wrong title for the thread
Will Terrorists Attack Our Nuclear Plants Next?

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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #21
38. I've gone back and read the OP
It is a little unclear which (if either) form of security the OP is discussing.

The title would seem to point one direction, but the quote from Didion points in the other.

Perhaps the poster was just looking to stimulate a general discussion.
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Last Lemming Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
34. That's a relief
you can tell the administration is somewhat constrained this time around--a new terrorist attack will justify the draft--that's good--on the other hand it could indicate that B is not affectively protecting us--that's bad.. They must have found a solution because they are a lot smarter--well--this simple Democrat

So Cheney is doing more building under the vice-president's house? Could be a sign
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mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. Nuclear Terrorism seems remote at least in the U.S.
Edited on Mon Jan-31-05 10:16 PM by mikelewis
If you read many of these posts in this forum, it's clear that quite a few believe in some level of government involvement, the Let it happen or the Made it happen. If they let it happen then our intelligence wasn't as faulty as they suggest which means we have some deterrence should we choose to us it. I believe they made it happen but don't believe it would serve any further goal to allow an even greater event to happen in the U.S.

I think, if there is any further terrorism in the U.S. it will most likely be similar to what happens in Isreal, small bombs, maybe suicide bombers. These smaller attacks will sufficiently raise the fear level in this country by invoking the spectre of 9/11. There is no need for a larger more damaging attack. This would only hurt our economy further and actually provide very little in the way of political gain. The smaller attacks are what worries me as they have proven to be successful. A duo of snipers shut down the east coast, anthrax letters in the mail, these attacks helped to further the agenda without causing too much permanent damage. This sort of stuff is what I would expect. I hope I'm right.
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. While I disagree about who is behind the attacks you raise an
important issue.

Terrorists have specific goals that require lots of planning. They do not want to take on targets with low probability of success because of the risks involved. This is why I agree terrorism on US soil is most likely going to take on the form of something that impacts our ability to function as a society and has a high likelihood of success. something like blowing up key bridges in a dozen cities at the same time. Or simultaneously attacking large public areas or key institutions.

It is this reason why attaking nuke plants is unlikely in my view. They are already hardened, they already have good security, and even if they managed to fly a plane into one (low probability after 9/11) there is a high probability the damage would be minimum and local at worse.


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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Please explain how "terrorists" knew that 9/11 was low-risk.
"lared" said:

"They do not want to take on targets with low probability of success because of the risks involved."

Think maybe they knew it was risk-free because they were well-connected & had good inside information? Inside information because it was an inside job.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Lax security made it "risk free"
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 10:08 AM by hack89
Everyone that traveled before 9/11 know that airport and airline security was a joke. Once the hijackers knew they could get weapons on a plane (I suspect they made several test runs to verify this) - I am sure they came to the conclusion that they could pull it off and get at least one plane into a target.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. That it?
Makes you wonder why there are so many questions about how it all could have happened. You could explain the whole 9/11 thing in two sentences.
Pretty good.

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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Why does it have to be complicated?
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 10:54 AM by hack89
A small group of dedicated men, money for flight school, and indifferent security. It certainly is a lot simpler that the elaborate conspiracies you like to concoct.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Which "elaborate conspiracies" are you talking about?
Bush 9/11 Conspiracy Theory? I didn't concoct that. bushco did. You smokin' something this morning?
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Let me think ...
How about the government having an F-16(mistakenly identified as an a jet liner by hundreds of witnesses) shooting missiles with shaped charges that make 16 foot holes (despite the fact that there is no such weapon in existence) before crashing into the Pentagon. The only thing unclear to me is whether the F-16 was piloted by an Air Force suicide bomber or do you believe in an elaborate remote control system?

Now Abe, you have to admit that a pretty elaborate scheme involving a lot of people.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. Wow. You believe all that?
Very, very interesting. You have an active imagination.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Well Abe, if it wasn't an F16 what was it? (nt)
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. No - you believe this
To quote you

"I've seen no definitive evidence that proves there was any other part of the Pentagon that was vulnerable to attack on 9/11 EXCEPT for the target area (where the missile created a 16 foot entry hole for the attack jet which followed it into the building)."
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Have YOU seen any definitive evidence that proves there was any...
other part of the Pentagon that was vulnerable to attack on 9/11 EXCEPT for the target area (where the missile created a 16 foot entry hole for the attack jet which followed it into the building)?
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Nonsensical question
Every part of the Pentagon was equally vulnerable - how do you hypothesize that the remaining four fifths of the building were INVULNERABLE to attack from a missile carrying small jet?
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Too many important people could have gotten hurt or killed
That's why the targeted area was confined to that one wedge. Haven't you read about all that?
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. All you have to do is prove it and I'm with you Abe
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 12:34 PM by hack89
I still curious about:

1. What kind of missile was used to blow a 16 foot hole in the Pentagon.

2. How was the small jet controlled?
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. I'm with you hack89
I'd love to see Abe prove it. If he did, I'd be the first to congratulate him.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Show me where I have ever said I supported the OCT ...
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 01:37 PM by hack89
I just can't bring myself to follow you down the path you are on if you are unable or unwilling to answer simple questions. How can I say you are right if I don't understand the basic tenets of your beliefs? All I am asking is that you prove there is something behind the constantly shifting veil of words.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Who said that you said that you support the BUSH 9/11 CT?
Not I. But, while we're at it, DO you?
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. I am open to any theory that be proven ...
espoused by anyone willing to answer simple questions with simple answers.
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. Who said the attacks were low risk?
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 11:06 AM by LARED
Risk is the combination of the probability that something will happen compared to the consequences if it does happen.

My point is that terrorists are not going to waste their time on projects that have a low probability of success, like attacking nuke plants. The fact that millions of ignorant people think nuclear power plants blow up like nuclear bombs does not make them a good target in my view. There are far easier targets for them.

Before 9/11, hijacking a plane successfully had a high probability of success. It was rarely done in the US and we were hardly prepared to stop a hijacking. Plus hijacking a plane to crash it into a building was not something anyone thought was a realistic risk because it's probability was extremely low.

Also to increase the probability of "success" and to make the attacks more terrifying they hijacked multiple aircraft. Redundancy will increase the probability of success. Success being one plane hitting its target.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Did Condi tell you that? You know about Bunnypants in Italy, right?
"hijacking a plane to crash it into a building was not something anyone thought was a realistic risk because it's probability was extremely low."

Silly National Security Advisor. Total waste of tax dollars to set up that anti-aircraft defense system when Commander Bunnypants went to Italy to wow the EYEtallyuns.

August 6, 2001 (you know what happened on that date, don't you?)
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Tell me AA, what do you think happened on 8/6/01? (n/t)
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #31
46. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #31
50. What happened on 8/6/01? Is this banned material here?
I didn't read the reply. I'm not asking why it was deleted, I just want to know if it was something significant.
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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. It was not significant
It was flame bait. Hence the deletion.
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mikelewis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
49. The question isn't what happened on 9/11, it's will it happen again an how
Edited on Wed Feb-02-05 06:57 PM by mikelewis
It's possible yes, likely no. For another 9/11 against any one of our "soft" spots it would require a great many things to go wrong. Whether or not you believe 9/11 was perpetrated by Bushco or not, we would have to have a severe failure of our homeland defense system. This failure could have been blamed on lack of attention before but not now. If Bushco did it, they won't do it again until a Dem is in the White House which looks like a very long time from now. For the terrorists to be able to pull off a major attack, our intelligence would have to completely fail as well as the layers of security we have in place. I see a very low probability of this happening. It is possible but niether scenario seems very likely. I do predict more terrorism in America, I just believe it will be smaller in scale and the spectre of 9/11 will force the changes they wish to make.

Imagine a bomb going off in a mall. Imagine a suicide bomber in a school. Imagine a sniper picking off people at gas stations. These would serve the purpose of either group with little to no effort. That's what I was trying to explain.
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