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US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Nuclear Secrets In Sting Operation 372

DesScorp writes "Recalling the famous Rosenberg nuclear spy case of the '50s, the US Justice Department has arrested a couple working at a 'leading nuclear research facility' for giving nuclear secrets to Venezuela. Pedro and Marjorie Mascheroni 'have been indicted on charges of communicating classified nuclear weapons data to a person they believed to be a Venezuelan government official and conspiring to participate in the development of an atomic weapon for Venezuela,' the department said in a statement. If convicted, the couple would receive life in prison."
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US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Nuclear Secrets In Sting Operation

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  • Re:FTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thiez ( 1281866 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:42PM (#33616414)

    At that age, 'life in prison' probably isn't much of a deterrent. The potential reward may well outweigh a decade of imprisonment.

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:45PM (#33616442)

    nuclear secrets really aren't. The nth country experiment showed that over 40 years ago. Trying to keep the knowledge locked away is futile, the only hope is to control the fissile material.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grantek ( 979387 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:46PM (#33616450)

    At that age, 'life in prison' probably isn't much of a deterrent. The potential reward may well outweigh a decade of imprisonment.

    especially if the reward isn't for you, and is for family members/loved ones

  • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Starteck81 ( 917280 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:50PM (#33616470)
    People risk their life for less of a potential reward every day. Think of the average solider or firefighter.
  • by Starteck81 ( 917280 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:54PM (#33616500)
    That assumes that everyone is equally rational, which we know is not the case. It would only take one psychopath to end the world and laugh as everything around him burned to the ground.
  • And this is why... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:55PM (#33616502)

    You don't piss off your nuclear scientists. Even retired you better take care of them, or otherwise one or more of them will get past the efforts to watch them, and they'll sell what you didn't want sold.

    Keep them happy.

    Or buy more bullets.

  • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:58PM (#33616518)

    > Or it blows up in your face, taking a small city with it.

    So make it in the city you want to blow up.

  • by Clived ( 106409 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:04PM (#33616550)

    What the hell would Venezuela want nuclear weapons for anyway??

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) * on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:05PM (#33616556)

    is more realistic approaches to nuclear nonproliferation. face up to the fact that all countries will inevitably achieve nuclear weapons capability in the near future, and act accordingly with the international community through political and economic incentives to assure all countries are well appraised that, while attractive in the face of gridlock warfare or political strife, the ending outcome of nuclear war is negative for all parties involved. Arms will always proliferate, the question is, how do we proliferate peace.

    Put it this way:

    A. There are some countries who should not be allowed nuclear weapons because they will probably use them.

    B. There are some countries who should not be allowed nuclear weapons because they may lose track of them (thus making those weapons available to nations of type A -or- to certain (ahem!) non-governmental organizations who will probably use them.

    The Cold War was a dangerous game (and we're not out of the woods yet: many of those weapons still exist and so do the ideological differences for that matter) but the leaders of both sides weren't willing to die for their ideology. That basic rationality is no longer a given, as these weapons proliferate to less politically stable nations.

    This (badly mistaken) idea that it's acceptable for anyone to steal nuclear weapons technology because, well, heck, they'll get it eventually is just wrong. Yes, they might get it eventually, but the odds of that happening are reduced if they aren't forced to make the same investment that we and the Soviets made. And you never know: if it comes down to that, they may decide they have better uses for the money. And if not, if they do get nukes but have to take a few years to figure out how, well, that's a few more years of relative safety for the rest of us.

  • by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:17PM (#33616626)
    Parent is not a troll, his sarcasm is justified. As far as I remember there were plenty of people here who were (seriously) making that very point regarding the wikileaks case.
  • by Thiez ( 1281866 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:18PM (#33616632)

    > Imagine if they had harmed our nation as a whole rather than as a somewhat confined attack.

    'They'? I'm quite sure most of the people suffering (or dying) had nothing to do with the particular attack that I assume you are referring to.

  • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:21PM (#33616648)
    It sounds like these people had "brilliant ideas" for improving nuclear FUSION but were rebuffed by the people at the lab and later by congressional staffers. They could have been brilliant or just a little disconnected from reality.

    It appears that in a desperate attempt to fund their FUSION research, they tried to contact foreign governments with information on building a FISSION bomb (plans downloaded from the Internet) so the FBI obliged by providing a fake Venezuelan contact to trap them.

    This is just sad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:36PM (#33616716)

    Those "psychopathic" leaders from the USSR only cared about one thing. POWER! That's all the cared about. However, launching a full scale nuclear war would render their cities into smoldering ruins with nothing to show for it. Basically, between the US and USSR, it was a classic game of chicken.

    Now with religious (Islamic) leaders at the helm... Well, they might actually burn the world to win Jihad against sinners in the eyes of Allah. Real honest-to-God religious convictions at the helm of a nuclear arsenal is not what you want.

  • by Eternal Vigilance ( 573501 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @08:41PM (#33616750)
    Yeah, I found that little bit of propaganda to be exceptionally vile when I first read of this a few hours ago.

    But for the U.S. it's demonize two birds with one stone: The Feds get to play up the fear of nuclear terrorists, and plant the next-after-Iran seed in the public's mind as well.

    Even though Venezuela wasn't involved at all, just watch how many "news" outlets echo the "Venezuela's stealing U.S. secrets and building nukes" part of the headline.

    So it's win-win for the U.S. government. Who among them cares whether it's true?

    "US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Child Pornography To President Obama."
  • Re:FTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @09:02PM (#33616850) Homepage
    They'll be better looked after in prison than on Social Security. No joke.
  • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @09:31PM (#33616970) Homepage

    Au contraire: the time life you have left, the more valuable it becomes. That's 0 more birthdays, holidays, or weekends spent with the grandkids, and they with you. You didn't just gamble with your own future, but everyone who cares about you as well.

    The thing that surprises me (though I guess it shouldn't, given the number of incidents) is that while I might expect someone working at McDonalds to be both stupid and desperate enough to try to do something like that, I would have hoped that someone working at a nuclear research facility with access to TS information would be neither stupid nor desperate.

    And the irony is that knowing *how* to make a nuclear weapon isn't even a well kept secret.. AT ALL. Someone offering to pay lots of money for that information should have been a huge red flag, even absent any other moral, ethical, or practical concerns.

  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @09:33PM (#33616976) Homepage

    Any 14 year-old could probably make an atomic bomb with a critical mass of uranium or plutonium. Such a bomb would be huge and require lots of shielding to be safe to handle - like attaching to an aircraft or loading into a shipping container.

    On the other hand, what is required to detonate a subcritical mass is a little bit tricky. It is clearly possible because the US has thermonuclear weapons that are smaller than the core of the first atomic bombs. I'm not sure that A. Q. Khan even had that information, although he was US-trained.

    If you want to put a bomb in a shipping container, the Hiroshima bomb would be good enough. If you want to put a bomb into an Amazon box and ship it somewhere in the US that might require a bit more expertise and that is much harder to come by.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by an00bis ( 667089 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @09:34PM (#33616978)

    They'll be better looked after in prison than on Social Security. No joke.

    This is the truth, why was this marked as Troll?

  • by TheRedDuke ( 1734262 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @09:40PM (#33616992)
    What really scares me is not that someone is calling for the extermination of entire peoples and states (it's been done before); but that while reading this post, for a brief moment...I seriously considered the proposal.
  • CITE PLEASE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alaska Jack ( 679307 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @09:56PM (#33617052) Journal

    [needs citation]

    1. I bet I know a lot more people in the gun rights movement than you, and I don't know one -- NOT A SINGLE ONE -- who thinks the way that *you* think they do.

    2. You say "there are a lot of people in the US who think that *everyone* should have a gun." Really? So there are "a lot of people" who think psychopaths should have guns? Convicted felons on parole?

    3. They may think that only people here legally should have guns, but that is a perfectly defensible position. I have NEVER, EVER seen ONE SINGLE INSTANCE of someone saying that guns are bad for illegal Mexicans, but fine for other illegals.

    4. In the same vein, please support you assertion that "lots of people" believe everyone should have the right to bear arms in self defense except Muslims.

    5. Failing all this, do you think it might be possible -- just *possible -- that in fact you just got up in front of everyone and tried to pass off your own personal bias as fact?

      - AJ

  • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @10:02PM (#33617078)

    You know, a funny thing I've noticed is that there are a lot of people in the US who think that *everyone* should have a gun. But when you pressure them a little, it turns out that they don't think that *really* everyone should have a gun.

    Agreed. But its much more fundamental a problem than that. There are a lot of people in the US that think that:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    only applies to Americans.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Defenestrar ( 1773808 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @10:05PM (#33617094)

    And the irony is that knowing *how* to make a nuclear weapon isn't even a well kept secret.. AT ALL.

    True in some senses. Most junior high kids interested in the physical sciences could describe a gun type or spherical type fission bomb. One might even get the concept of the implosion lens (make the shockwaves match up & stuff).

    Knowing the general theory isn't exactly the same as: make a hemisphere of diameter X out of alloy Y, or: blend explosives A, B, C, D in the gradient {a, b, c, d}, or perhaps: the tritium concentration must be above n mass percent, or maybe: the neutron flux shall be Z or thou shalt surely fail in epic fashion.

    We went through a lot of atolls worth of data to get the specifics of our top secret data. Depending on what's leaked you've eliminated a lot of obvious R&D (especially to the IAEA) and given somebody a highly advanced warhead (Firefox 3 vs Lynx 1).

    Some people claim that the declassified or otherwise published data has not been altered and has pretty precise blueprints, but until someone verifies that through a DIY atol removal, I think there's a decent chance that at least some of the information has been cleverly and subtly altered before public release. Otherwise I'd have expected quite a few more nuclear powers given the easy information. []

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @10:06PM (#33617100)

    You know, a funny thing I've noticed is that there are a lot of people in the US who think that *everyone* should have a gun. But when you pressure them a little, it turns out that they don't think that *really* everyone should have a gun.

    Who really says that? I've never heard any gun advocate (nut or not) say anything like that. In fact all gun owners I know are usually more thoughtful and respectful people than the populace at large and certainly not fascist as you paint them to be.

    It seems like you are on a bigot hunt, when all you had to do was stay home and look in the mirror. You can be just as bigoted against peoples philosophical standpoints as you can against race...

  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @10:13PM (#33617132)

    That's why you don't give political power to psychopaths.

    Silly me! i thought it was a requirement.

    A decadent and/or broken people won't allow reasonable people to rule. Children of divorce are unlikely to respect them. Reasonable people won't give them the phony sense of worth (the one that comes from "us and them") that they want, so reasonable people won't appeal to them. They aren't sexy. They haven't spent a good portion of their lives learning how to manipulate and market and tell you what you want to hear (how to cater to your base nature, your ego). They haven't mastered the art of doing one thing while saying another while pretending like there is no hypocrisy in it, while lying to you with a straight face as though nothing were amiss. Reasonable people don't have glitter and pizzaz and charisma. They just have their reason.

    Reasonable people are outgunned, out-classed and out-ruthlessed (if such can be a word) by those who will say or do anything, absolutely anything to get your support. Reasonable people won't whore themselves out to the highest bidder, to appeal to the most powerful. They tend to be anonymous and/or marginalized. They tend not to make a big production, a huge public spectacle, of their reason. They just see what is right and do it according to their reason.

    So yeah, sociopathy is a requirement when most of the electorate is governed by fear, ego, gratification, and a failure to be fulfilled by the way they live their own private lives. It's a requirement when so many families are broken and so many people are so overwhelmed by their own existence that they cannot see beyond their own immediate personal concerns. It's a requirement when politics becomes all about charisma and allure and not about sound policy rooted in solid reason. Most of all, it's a requirement when government has become totally out of control and unaccountable to the people and this is accepted as normal.

    Like I said, the cure is prevention. Otherwise it's a very large downward spiral from there. Otheriwse it gets much, much worse before it has a hope of getting even slightly better. Once these self-reinforcing, feedback-loop processes are set in motion, it's hell itself to have a chance at breaking their momentum and returning to something more... well, reasonable.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @10:37PM (#33617226) Homepage

    People leaking such secrets might as well think that's exactly what they're doing, saving lifes (just on the "wrong" side) - wasn't there a thing how most "traitors" of such kind are motivated not by money?

  • Venezuela (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday September 17, 2010 @11:38PM (#33617434) Homepage Journal

    Note that this story says absolutely nothing about whether or not Venezuela actually has any nuclear programme or ambitions. The only "Venezuela" in this story is a fake one, made up to sting these traitors.

    But this story does tell us something about how Americans have been led to believe that Venezuela does aspire to get a nuke. It's not clear exactly what it tells us about that, but it tells us something about it.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jwsmy[ ].com ['the' in gap]> on Saturday September 18, 2010 @12:33AM (#33617670) Homepage Journal

    The risk of getting caught far outweighs the potential reward;

        There's a problem with your understanding of the crime. Us normal folks (those without DoD clearances, who'd never be offered millions for anything we know) only hear about the people who are caught.

        Think of it as smaller crimes. Have you ever known someone who was a drug dealer or user? You don't have to answer that. :) Sure, we see the news where drug dealers and users are arrested, killed, etc, etc, etc. What you don't necessarily know about is that for every name or face that shows up in the news, there are thousands of people involved with that industry. The reason for the publicity of such events isn't to slow down those who are actively doing it, it's to persuade people who may get into that line of work that it's horribly dangerous.

        By the sound of the story, they were framed. A retired couple, one who was laid off years ago. The other probably wasn't making great money. Between the two of them, they had sensitive information and knowledge. The FBI sting involved pretending to be a foreign national offering up almost 1 million dollars.

        If you were an old retired couple, barely making ends meet with your pension, doesn't a million dollars in cash sound like a nice way to live the rest of your life? As it appears, they didn't actively pursue such a sale. The FBI staged the whole international secrets crime.

        So, what comes of all of this? The couple may end up in prison for the rest of their lives. Other government workers will think twice about giving up any sort of information for any amount of cash. The smart ones (the ones who don't get caught) will still commit crimes such as this. The stupid ones (the ones who do get caught) will make headlines again when they work out a deal with the FBI to commit such a crime.

        All the FBI managed to do was bust a couple who probably wouldn't have committed the crime in the first place. We all have our price, it just matters how gullible you are, and how much it would cost to buy you off. Would I accept $1 million? Probably not. $1 billion and guaranteed protection in another country? I'd have to think about it.

        Sadly enough, we're arresting people now for actions that were encouraged of skilled people years before. The United States accumulated many great scientists and military experts. Surely many of them were bribed in one way or another. Much of that will never make it to the history books.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @12:40AM (#33617680) Homepage

    The big secrets are out. Everybody understands generally how an atomic bomb works. There remain smaller secrets, along the lines of construction tips. Machining plutonium is very difficult; in addition to being radioactive and poisonous, it has weird physical properties - it expands when heated, but doesn't contract fully when cooled, because the crystalline structure changes. The detailed techniques for doing that and compensating for the changes aren't public knowledge. Exactly how plutonium behaves when compressed by a shock wave is still being studied. [] The tricks by which atomic bombs are made smaller and more efficient are not well known. There are neutron reflectors, tampers, and such. The data from the experimental work to develop those items is still classified.

    Developing that data independently requires a sizable research operation. All the big nuclear powers had to build big R&D operations to struggle with those problems. (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea probably used leaked data from one of the big powers.)

    The interesting question with this guy is whether this guy fed the FBI real classified data, or just faked up some plausible design numbers.

  • Déjà vu (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2010 @12:59AM (#33617750)

    The corporate states of amerika consider Chevez the enemy. He'll never give away Venezuela's oil. The stage is being set to take Venezuela.

    Conspiracy theory you say? Flashback to the eighties. Reagan's special emissary, Donald Rumsfeld, brokered a deal to sell Hussein anthrax [] and more pathogens. Republicans in congress loopholed the munitions export law with a Commerce act to make it legal. Then they waited to manipulate public opinion (recall the ANTHRAX terrorist(s) targeted the Democratic Senate leadership and certain liberal media outlets). Their pecker tracks were all over the biological evidence, so they stacked the deck with Nuclear and Chemical WMD.

    The groundwork is being laid now to take out Chavez. So in the future when a corporate tool is POTUS and needs a boost to their failed administration, we'll see something like Operation Free the Venezuelan Oil. Of course the price of oil will double and billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil will disappear, but all you have to do is drink the kool aid and watch Faux Newz.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Saturday September 18, 2010 @01:10AM (#33617780) Journal

    MICE [].


  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @05:21AM (#33618512)

    if you knew the technology might be used against someone you love, you would never sell out, at any price

    And what if you knew that the technology probably wouldn't be used against someone you love, and dang, a million bucks is a lot of money. Never underestimate the power of humans to rationalize what they want to get. While there probably are people who won't compromise under any circumstance, a common trick is to present the negotiation in a way that allows the target to rationalize ignoring the downsides.

  • Re:CITE PLEASE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sco08y ( 615665 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @06:50AM (#33618774)

    3. They may think that only people here legally should have guns, but that is a perfectly defensible position. I have NEVER, EVER seen ONE SINGLE INSTANCE of someone saying that guns are bad for illegal Mexicans, but fine for other illegals.

    How do you feel about legal Mexicans having guns?

    Having worked with Mexican guys in the Army who carried loaded weapons on a daily basis, I really don't have a problem with it. I know of at least one Mexican immigrant who was a MOH recipient, since I read his autobiography.

    Or legal Muslim Somalians and Yemenites?

    Can't say about Yemenites, but having worked with Somalis in the Army, etc, etc.

    Or people arrested and convicted for non-violent charges?

    Again, I've worked with guys who have non-violent charges on their records.

  • by Thiez ( 1281866 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @07:05AM (#33618820)

    I think the odds of Venezuela starting a nuclear war with the USA are pretty slim. For a million dollars I'd call it an acceptable risk.

  • Re:CITE PLEASE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sco08y ( 615665 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @07:12AM (#33618834)

    I already about my experiences with the above groups, but racism, historically and currently, is squarely a phenomenon of the gun control movement. As this black guy with a gun [] explains:

    [after] the Civil War ended in 1865, States persisted in prohibiting blacks, now freemen, from owning guns under laws renamed “Black Codes.” They did so on the basis that blacks were not citizens, and thus did not have the same rights, including the right to keep and bear arms protected in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as whites. ... most States turned to “facially neutral” business or transaction taxes on handgun purchases. However, the intention of these laws was not neutral. An article in Virginia ‘s official university law review called for a “prohibitive taxon the privilege” of selling handguns as a way of disarming “the son of Ham,” whose “cowardly practice of ‘toting’ guns has been one of the most fruitful sources of crime. Let a negro board a railroad train with a quart of mean whiskey and a pistol in his grip and the chances are that there will be a murder, or at least a row, before he alights.” ...

    That article has a pretty solid timeline of racist gun control, going all the way up to 1995.

  • by Spotticus ( 1356631 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @12:21PM (#33620490)
    As one of the worlds largest producers of medical isotopes, Canada has much of the needed infrastructure to produce Pu-239 should it really want to. The NRU reactor at Chalk River would simply need to switch out its Molybdum targets for Uranium and we'd be in business. All of the reprocessing facilities are in place (currently processing medical isotopes). As well, the CANDU reactor design, for a civilian reactor, is quite capable of producing high quality Pu-239 with minor modifications since it can be refueled while operating (as India has done with its CIRUS reactor). Most civilian reactors have to be shutdown to extract the U-238 slugs (that breed the Pu-239) to either you run them for a while (and contaminate your Pu-239 with Pu-240, Pu-241, and Pu-242) or you're firing them up and shutting them down every few weeks. Tritium boosting and a berillium reflector would allow you to build a small enough device to carry on a CF-18. So if it really came down to it, Canada could probably build a couple of bombs in less than a year for a few hundred million, of course there is little reason for us to do so. Just remember the Northwest Passage is Canadian terittorial waters and the North Pole is ours :o)
  • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tweenk ( 1274968 ) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @12:27PM (#33620524)

    So in a bomb you must make sure that there are enough U235 nuclei in the vicinity. That translates to concentration. How much concentration ? 98% pure at least, preferably more (if you want to be sure it blows up).

    Little Boy used roughly 90% enriched uranium.
    In general, the required isotopic purity is closer to 90% than to 98%.

    The only known way to separate them is to vaporize them into a highly positively charged plasma, then throw that plasma into a strong magnetic field, where the flow will start to rotate around the center of the field. This will create a minute difference in isotope concentration : less than 0.1% more U235 in the center, slightly over 0.2% more on the other side (the problem is thermalization, constantly remixing the isotopes). That's what's happening in those big tubes the US dislikes so much.

    Centrifuge enrichment does not happen in plasma. It uses uranium hexafluoride, which sublimates above 93*C. It is a regular gas like carbon dioxide or oxygen, only heavier.

    There's also an obsolete thermal diffusion process, but it takes roughly 100x more energy (!). The last thermal diffusion facility in Europe, Eurodif, will free up some 3000 MW of power when closed. Its job will be done by a new centrifuge enrichment plant that takes only 50 MW.

    It is not known exactly how efficient this process is. But it is known that about 200 kg of ore (5% uranium) is needed to create 1 kg 95% U235 (which is what the first nuclear power plants ran on). Undoubtedly it's at least 10 times that for 98%, but ... (the "losses" of this process are the fuel for it. You use the less pure output to fire a nuclear reactor to power the whole purification system, which eats a LOT of power).

    Your numbers are far off. U-235 makes up only 0.7% of natural uranium, the rest is U-238 which is not fissile. Furthermore most uranium ores are far less concentrated than 5%. Common ore grades are in the 2000-500 ppm range, or 0.2%-0.05%. To get 1kg of 90% U-235, you need roughly 100 tons of 2000 ppm ore and 167 kg of pure natural uranium (assuming that the tailings contain 0.16% U-235, which is very low but possible; actual tailing concentration is 0.25%-0.3%)

    Fissionable uranium, explosion-grade, is not easy to get. Not even if you're sitting on tons upon tons of fissionable material.

    That is true, but has little relevance for modern nuclear weapons. All nuclear weapon states except Pakistan use plutonium weapons, which are less costly and much smaller than high enriched uranium weapons. Plutonium can be produced from natural or low enriched uranium in specially designed reactors, then separated chemically. Some plutonium is produced in LWR reactors, but can't be used in nuclear weapons due to its isotopic composition: weapons plutonium needs 90-93% Pu-239, whereas LWR spent fuel contains ~60%.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canadian_right ( 410687 ) <> on Saturday September 18, 2010 @01:06PM (#33620778) Homepage

    I hope you are not an American, as your ignorance about your own constitution is amazing.

    The American constitution does not give you any rights. The American constitution points out that you are born with rights, simply by being human, then sets out some specific things the government may NOT do as they would infringe your rights.

    The USA constitution does NOT give you rights. It protects your rights from your government.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes