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I think this is something to be concerned about

Last posted Jul 11, 2014 at 04:02PM EDT. Added Jul 10, 2014 at 06:17PM EDT
14 posts from 8 users

A U.S. government source familiar with the matter said the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium and therefore would be difficult to use to manufacture into a weapon

Meh. It would take some serious work to make this a real problem.

Kazu wrote:

this looks like nothing to be concerned about. I highly doubt a group of terrorists could manufacture any weapons even if they had enriched uranium.

The thing people worry about isn’t terrorists making an actual bomb, they worry about “dirty bombs” that don’t much damage but release a ton of radiation.

Starscream The Conversationalist wrote:

The thing people worry about isn’t terrorists making an actual bomb, they worry about “dirty bombs” that don’t much damage but release a ton of radiation.

Can’t believe I overlooked that. Good point.

88 pounds (approx 40 kg) of mostly uranium compounds isn’t much. Even if it’s uranium hexafluoride, there’s more a risk of just contaminating outside materials than making any explosive weapon out of it. Most likely it’s just yellowcake uranium, which.. whatever.

Sonata Dusk wrote:

88 pounds (approx 40 kg) of mostly uranium compounds isn’t much. Even if it’s uranium hexafluoride, there’s more a risk of just contaminating outside materials than making any explosive weapon out of it. Most likely it’s just yellowcake uranium, which.. whatever.

Uranium hexafluoride is a form of depleted uranium. Unless they plan to sprinkle it into the president’s dinner, it is effectively useless.

Yellowcake would be much more useful as it is 99% U-238, which is used in the creation of nuclear weaponry.

Last edited Jul 11, 2014 at 02:07AM EDT

Taryn wrote:

Uranium hexafluoride is a form of depleted uranium. Unless they plan to sprinkle it into the president’s dinner, it is effectively useless.

Yellowcake would be much more useful as it is 99% U-238, which is used in the creation of nuclear weaponry.

U-238 is just the most common isotope of uranium. You want 235 for nuclear weapons, and it takes a lot of refinement.

EDIT: I should mention, 235 is also the most important component in uranium fuel, but the concentrations are much lower than what you need for weapons grade material.

Last edited Jul 11, 2014 at 02:54AM EDT

Sonata Dusk wrote:

U-238 is just the most common isotope of uranium. You want 235 for nuclear weapons, and it takes a lot of refinement.

EDIT: I should mention, 235 is also the most important component in uranium fuel, but the concentrations are much lower than what you need for weapons grade material.

  • 238 can absorb neutrons to reform into Pu-239 quite easily (Arguably, though, this would not be an issue here).
  • 238 is often used as a tamper in warheads, increasing their explosive yield. This makes for the requirement of far less U-235.
  • Yellowcake contains U-235.

Refinement is not an issue in this case. They’re terrorists in hiding. Time is on their side.

Skeletor-sm

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