Mayberry's latest post, click HERE, got me to thinking about two things.
The probability of a "terrorist" (at the mere mention of this word, your knees are supposed to start shaking, and it's OK to wet your pants) walking into this country with a suitcase nuclear bomb is zero. Now, I'm not an expert on nukes or even a physicist. I'm a carpenter. But I know a couple of things about radiation and bombs.
If something is intensely radioactive, it means that the isotope is extremely unstable and decaying (splitting) rapidly. Once an isotope splits it becomes another isotope, perhaps radioactive, perhaps not. It depends on how the atom breaks apart. If an isotope is not very radioactive, its decaying incidents are rare. The term used to describe the frequency of decaying incidents is half-life. That means if the half-life is 100,000 years, half of that quantity of isotopes will have decayed at 100,000 years. So if enriched, weapons-grade plutonium is extremely radioactive, it has a short half-life and also a short shelf-life. How short, I don't know. One week, one year? Anyway, once a bomb is made, the clock's ticking.
In order for a small bomb to be effective, it has to be focused. If a bomb explodes in every direction at once, it had better be a powerful one to be effective. Another thing about a bomb is that it needs mass to be effective. That's why the 911 assholes chose huge airliners instead of Piper Cubs. Greater Mass = Greater Damage. So a suitcase bomb is not going to be very massive and hence not as dangerous as a bomb carried in say, the Enola Gay. Also, weapons-grade plutonium would need to be shielded so that the bomber could make it to his destination without dying of radiation exposure. Shielding would have to be lead, which is very heavy.
Thing Three:(Yes, I'm being long-winded)
What would make a person desperate enough to suicide-attack innocent people? Carpenters don't generally inspire that kind of hatred, even though many times in my life I've richly deserved an ass-whupping. But governments ALWAYS inspire that kind of hatred. Think about that next time some police-state apologist claims that our government is "protecting" us by launching wars and meddling in other countries and passing "Patriot Act" laws and levying taxes for Homeland Security.
I'm done. Thank you very much. You can go back to eBay now.